SparkleSwap is pleased to introduce our featured ‘Artist of the Month’ for March, 2020: Cathy Flesher.

Cathy began her journey as a full-time artist and handmade jewelry designer in the early 2000s while at the same time raising a special-needs son.  As he grew older so did her hunger to learn new things and she branched out in various directions absorbing knowledge from her mentors, through books, YouTube, and various workshops, including annual trips to the Tucson Gem Show. The beauty of Arizona became her ultimate inspiration and she officially moved to Tucson from St. Louis in 2016. She is humbled to recently be featured as an emerging new artist by Voyage Phoenix magazine and her step-by-step article on feather earrings was published in the 2019-2020 Winter Edition of Metal Clay Today.

(For those of you who are not familiar with metal clay, it is a relative newcomer to the jewelry-making world.  Hailing from Japan, it’s been around since 1990 and consists of metal particles such as silver, gold, copper or bronze combined with an organic binder and water.  It can be shaped like clay; which means endless opportunities for sculpting, texturing, and shaping into whatever your mind can imagine.    Once heated, the binder burns off and what remains is pure metal.  It is simply marvelous!)

I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy at the Camp PMC Course in Tucson last month and I knew immediately that she is someone special.  Cathy is a kind, patient and encouraging teacher who also happens to be an absolute joy to be around.  We are honored to feature Cathy and her beautiful metal clay artistry on SparkleSwap.  Please enjoy!

SparkleSwap: Please describe your artistic style and medium?

Cathy:  My style reflects a passion to constantly try new things and create beautifully unique pieces (no assembly line for me!) I use an assortment of techniques learned over the years including metal clay, beadwork, wirework, hand-knotting, stone setting, soldering, enameling, and glass.  Gemstones, pearls, and vintage materials can be found throughout my work.

SparkleSwap: How did you get started in your craft?

Cathy:  Most of my childhood days were spent with siblings exploring the great outdoors while collecting fossils, rocks, and other shiny objects. Always on the hunt, I started creating at a young age making necklaces from clover flowers and gum wrappers!  Now a self-taught artist, I am always pushing myself to learn new techniques and refine the ones I already know.

SparkleSwap: From where do you draw your inspiration?

Cathy: Travel and nature

SparkleSwap: What kind of materials do you like to work with and what is your favorite tool right now?

Cathy:I create my jewelry using metal clay, metals, glass, beads, stones, and other items from my travels. Besides making jewelry I also enjoy journaling, bookmaking, sketching and drawing, and watercolors.

It is hard to pick one favorite tool.  My new micro tool from Rio Grande is so versatile and is a favorite tool for piercing, finishing, sanding, polishing, and carving metal clay.

SparkleSwap: What is your favorite place to shop for supplies and why?

Cathy: I love tools and having the right tool for the task is important and I find it makes a big difference in your finished work. I shop for tools at jewelry supply stores, hardware stores, metal clay suppliers, craft stores, antique stores and thrift shops.  

SparkleSwap: Do you have any tips or recommendations for new and aspiring artists?

Cathy: Believe in yourself! And push yourself to try different mediums and techniques.  I find it helpful to spend a few hours each week sketching out my ideas and designs.  This helps me focus when I begin making. 

SparkleSwap: What are some of your go-to places to learn new techniques?

Cathy: Pinterest is a great resource for jewelry instruction. So are YouTube videos and artist blogs on just about any technique you want to learn. I also try to take a class or two every year to expand my knowledge.

SparkleSwap: What are you working on these days?

Cathy: As a certified PMC® Principal Instructor, I am currently teaching both PMC 101 and 201 classes, developing and teaching several new workshops and classes from my Tucson home studio, exploring new ways to combine my love of metal clay and other jewelry techniques, making some fun tools, and occasionally hitting the links for some golf.

SparkleSwap: For anyone interested in learning more about metal clay and learning the basic techniques; Camp PMC is highly recommended, either in one of the workshops offered by Cathy or at other locations the course is offered throughout the country.

SparkleSwap: Do you have any other hobbies?

Cathy: When not creating and teaching, I also love spending time with my husband, our two Maine Coon cats, traveling (especially Hawaii!), cooking, golfing, hiking, watercolor painting, and exploring nature both at home and when traveling. 

SparkleSwap: How can we contact you if we are interested in purchasing your products or would like additional information?

Cathy:  Email me at or call 314-606-1718.


Purchase my jewelry and learn more about my workshops and classes at:


Find and like me on social media at:

Upcoming Workshops:

In addition to the following scheduled workshops I also teach several other custom classes upon request including Camp PMC 201 Certification.

A Feather in Your Cap: Metal Clay Workshop

Saturday, March 7th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Milkweed Arts, 1850 W. Mulberry Dr., Phoenix

Camp PMC 101 Certification – 2-Day

Saturday, March 21st and Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

My Zen Studio, 5960 E Avenida Arriba, Tucson, AZ–certification

Love Actually:  Metal Clay Workshop

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020  from 2:00 to 5:00 pm

Milkweed Arts, 1850 W. Mulberry Dr., Phoenix

Camp PMC 101 Certification – 2-Day Course

Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th, 2020

My Zen Studio, 5960 E Avenida Arriba, Tucson, AZ–certification

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