Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Mindfulness - origami with silver!

As I’m sure you noticed, the mindfulness craze for 2015 was adult colouring books. For 2016 it has been origami. But did you know that you can do origami with silver?


For many of us jewellery making is a hobby; a way to relax and create away from our day to day lives. The need to concentrate on what we are doing allows us to be consciously aware and focusing in the moment rather than worrying about the future or thinking about the past. This is the elusive state of mindfulness.
I’m sure you can’t have missed articles and books on mindfulness over the last few years. Through research, mindfulness has been found to be beneficial to


  • Reduce rumination (going over and over things in your head)
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost your working memory (this is an element of your short term memory)
  • Improve your focus
  • Increase flexibility in your thinking and problem solving abilities


(For more information on this see the research from Davis and Hayes, 2012)


There are a number of ways to add periods of mindfulness to your day to day life. Activities like yoga, tai chi and meditation have been famously studied but concentrating on a hobby is also on the list.


Last year, adult colouring books became all the rage (my personal favourites were Secret Garden and the Orla Kiely colouring books). I think the mindfulness aspect was one part of it but there is also the simple pleasure of going back to childhood and the only things to be concerned about - choosing the right colour and colouring inside the lines!
In 2016 origami was introduced to the mindfulness trend. Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures.
Origami with silver looks impressive but is hard to achieve with traditional silversmithing techniques. However, it is something we can achieve with metal paper clay.
Both the main brands of silver clay, Art Clay and PMC, have their own version of paper silver clay. Both are a dry, flat sheet of metal clay that can be cut, folded and shaped before being kiln fired.
Here are some examples of silver origami that have been created in our one day Metal clay - paper clay class


Silver paper clay windmill earring
Silver paper plane earrings
I teach a one day metal clay - paper clay class at the London Jewellery School.


During the paper clay class you learn three different techniques
  • Weaving with strips of clay
  • Quilling (rolling and shaping strips of paper)
  • Origami

You can find dates for this class here (note, I am not the only tutor for this course). You can find my teaching calendar here.

(Adapted from a blog post I originally wrote for the London Jewellery School blog)

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