September 22, 2012 Leave a comment
I have had a lovely day teaching an introduction to art clay silver to two students. Katy and Vicky spent a full day learning how to make their own unique pieces of precious silver jewellery using metal clay. We began with coffee followed by a short explanation and they selected a few pieces of leaf from just outside the studio door. I gave a quick demonstration of a technique for rolling out the clay, impressing the leaf texture and cutting a simple shape using a fine clay scraper. They then rolled out, textured and shaped their first piece each, setting it to dry.
We then had a short discussion about designing unique patterns and they each doodled on paper exploring their ideas before creating their own little texture sheet using styrofoam and a ball tool, stacking slats either side of the texture sheet and rolling and cutting out their clay.
After this I talked about making textures on the back of pieces and they used Rolling Mill Resource textures, sandwiching their rolled out clay and roller guides between two texture sheets and rolling the piece out. Once the clay was removed from between the two texture sheets they cut out their shape, forming the pieces over plastic measuring spoons and drying them, to give them a more three dimensional shape. I then showed them one technique for setting small fireable stones and with the tiny bit of clay left at the end they made a small coiled bead each – my favourite way of using up that tiny end of packet bit of silver clay!
Most of the work was fired in my electric kiln but they each had a chance to fire a small piece using a little gas torch so that they know how to fire small work at home. After firing they brushed, polished edges and burnished highlights, adding liver of sulphur patina to a small piece each. It was a very productive and enjoyable day and I know they were both pleased with the results.
Here are all their lovely pieces of jewellery – a very good day’s work!