Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Build a website in a weekend - workshop in London next weekend

I will be back in London next week and there are still a few places left on my Build your website in a weekend course on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October 2017

Who is this course for?

Would you like to build a website for your business or project? This intensive course has been designed to help you build your website in a weekend with guidance from me!

This course is suitable for
  • small business owners
  • artists/photographers/musicians etc who would like to create a portfolio website
  • coaches, counsellors etc

What does this course cover?

During this intensive course you will learn how to build a website using weebly

By the end of the course students will be able to
  • Build their own website
  • Make changes and updates to the website
  • Buy and add their own web domain
  • Edit and add images to the site
  • Link your social media to your site

You will learn both the theory and the practical 'how to' as this class will be taught in a computer room

Have a look at my website, which I built using weebly

If you're thinking of enrolling and have any questions do get in touch!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Saul Bell Awards 2017 - metal clay winner made with bronze clay!

I love the Saul Bell Design Award, an annual prize for jewellery design. All of the finalist's work is jaw-dropping so it's well worth a look.
As part of the the awards there are nine categories including metal clay. The winner this year in the metal clay category is Cindy Miller for her necklace called Cultivated Woodland. It is made from bronze clay and pearls. You can find an interview of her here where she talks more about how she made the piece and what inspired her.

Cindy Miller - Cultivated woodland necklace
In second place was this gorgeous piece by Liz Sabol. Liz has shared some of her process in this interview with Creative Fire.

Liz Sabol - Cheshire Cat
The runners up were

Iwona Tamborska
Helen Sang

Wendy Wallin Mallnow

The big news for 2018 is that they are no longer going to have a specific metal clay category. I think this is a shame as I have always looked forward to seeing the fantastic work on show. However, the organisers of the award have said that metal clay entries can still be made in their new categories and that this signals that metal clay is no longer something different but accepted as a material in jewellery making rather than something separate which I think is a positive step.

Which is your favourite piece?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Social media and blogging masterclasses in July 2017

I'm teaching a couple of business workshops this month at the Mary Ward Centre, London during their summer school and I hope you can join me. I've been teaching pr, social media and blogging for a few years and I am currently working as the Marketing Coordinator (part time) for the London Jewellery School where my role is to promote courses online, create effective facebook adverts, work with magazines and plan and manage internal and external events. 

Blogging masterclass
26th July 2017 10-5pm
Course code: 50SS
Photo credit: ImpactBND
I love blogging and have had my own blog since 2010, been a paid blogger since 2014 and I am a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Would you like to promote your business through your blog? Get paid to write blog posts for others?
Learn how to monetise your blog with advertising?

Who is this course for?
Would you like to promote your business through your blog? Get paid to write blog posts for others?
Learn how to monetise your blog with advertising?
What does this course cover
On this one day masterclass you'll:
  • Learn what to write that will attract readers
  • Create your own blog content planner
  • Learn how to attract advertisers
  • Learn the secrets of how to pitch successfully to blog for the Huffington Post
  • Learn how to get your blog on the Google Play newsstand
And more!

By the end of the course you'll have your own personal action plan
(Note: this course is about blogging rather than a technical how to use Wordpress etc)

Social media marketing for business
27th July 2017,10-5pm
Course code: 54SS
Photo credit: Ackermann PR
Who is this course for?
Do you want to use social media to promote your business? Or are you applying for jobs where you need knowledge of social media? This intensive course has been designed to help get you up to scratch with your social media knowledge and give you the tricks of the trade

What does this course cover?
During this intensive course you will learn how to utilise social media to promote your business or
the business/company you work for
By the end of the course students will be able to
  • Consider how to use facebook, twitter and instagram effectively and strategically
  • Automate your business social media so it automatically posts
  • Build a mailing list and send out newsletters using mailchimp
  • Plan your social media strategy

You will learn both the theory and the practical 'how to' as this class will be taught in a computer room

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Summer school classes in London - silver clay rings one day workshop

Flat band silver ring
Despite now living in Edinburgh I am still teaching some classes in London! I will be teaching this one day workshop in silver clay ring making at the Mary Ward Centre. It is a subsidised course so is really inexpensive, £48 full fee, £24 concession fee (this includes 10g of clay. You may need to purchase extra clay depending on your ring size. This will be available from your tutor on the day and will be charged at cost price)

Tuesday 25th July, 10-5pm
Course code: 42SS

Who is this course for?
This course is designed for those with some experience of using silver clay, either a beginners course or your own practice at home.

Flat band embellished silver rings

What does this course cover?
Silver clay is a relatively new product to the market. It can be worked like clay and is made of fine silver particles, a binder and water. When it is fired (which can be done with an inexpensive butane torch at home) the result is a 99.9% fine silver piece which is of hallmark quality. (Note, it is recommended that rings are kiln fired)

D-profile silver rings
This is a new course that has not been taught at the Mary Ward Centre before.
On this course you will make two different types of silver clay ring.
A flat band ring and D profile ring (flat band on the inside, curved on the outside, see photo to the left)
Both rings will be shaped and dried around the mandrel

You will learn how to
- calculate the correct size to allow for shrinkage
- add embellishments and decoration to your ring/s
- programme a jewellery kiln for firing rings

Note: In order to make the most of the day it is likely that your rings will need to be fired overnight. If that is the case you will be given information about when they can be collected or alternatively can have them posted to you by recorded delivery (you will need to pay extra for this).

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Selling jewellery at Kings Cross St Pancras station

Firstly, sorry for my extended absence on the blog. It's been a really busy few months as we have packed up everything and moved from London to Edinburgh! More on that in future blog posts!

Last week I delivered my silver jewellery bee range to the Things British store in Kings Cross St Pancras station, London. Things British sell handcrafted items made in the UK. They work on a rent a shelf basis, are open 7 days a week and the artist gets 100% of the sale price (excluding card fees). I previously sold my jewellery in their other shop in Greenwich, London a couple of years ago and I thought I would give this store a try to see how it goes.

Preparing the stock takes time! I decided to focus on my bestselling range which is the bee range and so I have only taken that design. I made the range in different shapes, sizes and jewellery type including cufflinks. Soldering the cufflinks and stud backs, getting and adding the chain to the necklaces, writing out the price labels - there's a lot to get done when preparing stock for sale!
I was glad to be able to go in and deliver the stock in person and set up my own display. That way, if I need to post stock down from Scotland I know the staff will just add my pieces in.

If you are in the area or are travelling from the station do pop in and have a look! There are loads of beautiful handcrafted items for sale there. Just the place to buy a unique souvenir of the UK!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

What do I need to get started with silver clay?

I've been asked a few times in the last couple of weeks about the tools a beginner needs to start working with silver clay so I thought I would write a blog post about it!
Silver clay is a fantastic material that you can use to make silver jewellery from home. The clay itself is made from silver particles, an organic binder and water. You can roll and shape your clay into your design, dry it and then fire it with a butane torch (a creme brule torch will do!).

One of the things I love about silver clay is that you don't need a lot of space or expensive equipment to get started. Here are the basics that you will need.

Some of these items you will already have at home. For everything else I would recommend checking Metal Clay Ltd who specialise in tools and equipment for working with metal clay 

  1. Silver clay. There are two main brands - Art Clay and PMC3 and you use them in the same way so it doesn't matter which you choose. 
  2. Laminated mat or glass tile. This is to roll your clay onto. You need something smooth and without a texture
  3. Acrylic or glass roller. To roll out your clay. A wooden one isn't a good choice because it can stick to the clay
  4. Badger balm or olive oil. We use a little oil to grease the surface of the mat or texture to stop the clay from sticking. NB. Don't use vaseline as it is petroleum based and this damages the binder in the clay
  5. Playing cards. We use playing cards to ensure that when we are rolling out the clay we do so to an even thickness. You place 4 playing cards either side of the clay and roll your clay out and this ensures that the clay is an even thickness
  6. Texture plates, rubber mats or wallpaper. The clay takes textures really well and one of the real benefits of working with metal clay over sheet silver. You can use many things as a texture - you can buy rubber or plastic textured mats or use textured papers like wallpapers
  7. Small cookie cutters - traditional cookie cutters tend to be too large but cutters designed for sugarcraft/cake making are ideal
  8. Straight tissue blade - useful for cutting your own shapes
  9. Rubber clay shaping tool - you can get rubber tools from art supply shops, they are also used by oil painters. We use these with the clay to shape and fill in cracks
  10. Sanding pads. These are used to clean up the edges of the dry clay before firing.
  11. Butane torch. When your clay is dry it needs to be fired with a butane torch. You can buy one from jewellery suppliers or can use a creme brule torch
  12. Firing fibre brick. This is heat proof and you put your dried clay onto this to fire it
  13. Brass brush. Used to brush the piece once it has been fired and cooled (use water and liquid soap)
  14. Polishing papers/sunshine polishing cloth. To get your piece looking lovely and shiny I recommend the sunshine polishing cloth which is really quick and effective for polishing by hand
 I do suggest that you take a beginners class to learn how to use the clay effectively and particularly to learn how to fire the clay safely. 
You may also be tempted to try one of the base metal clays (copper or bronze) because they are cheaper than silver but these are harder to fire effectively so it is always best to start with silver clay. 
What are your favourite tools for working with silver clay? Let me know in the comments below.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...