Skip to main content

End of the teaching year reflections

Our lilly pond, taken by Gary Ullah Photography
It is coming to the end of the teaching year for me. I've taught and trained for most of my career but for the first time this year I taught a jewellery making class.
I taught Silver Clay Jewellery at the Mary Ward Centre in London. It's an interesting experience. It is different from teaching an academic subject (I teach Psychology there as well). For starters everyone is doing something different and it's not always easy to keep track of it all! Also demonstrating techniques is fine but it can be a bit nerve wracking with everyone watching - you don't want to make a mistake and cut your finger! Oh, wait, I did do that!
I did enjoy the classes that I taught though. It's great to have the students for three hours at a time so they can really get engaged with it all. And it was lovely to see what they had made by the end of the course. They all learnt new skills and that's all you can hope for.
There will be more silver clay classes at the Mary Ward next academic year. For now I get to relax by my pond for a bit!

Comments

Stay up to date!

Popular posts from this blog

Jewellery inspiration - unusual stone settings

I am pretty addicted to pinterest and love that we have so much access to inspiration as jewellers there. I have recently been drawn to unusual stone settings and I find it useful to consider how the jeweller has done it as it gives me a jumping off point for ideas. Here are a few innovative designs that I love.

Turquoise necklace by Cobalt blue


I love the work of byDaphne Krinos who regularly uses stones in innovative ways. This piece is a round brooch on 18 carat gold


Swarovski crystalactite ring from Maison Margiela

Thomas Giesen - acrylic ring with amethyst ball


Labradorite pendant by Anna Vosburg


Glauco Cambi bracelet with magnetic closure


Odyssey orbital ring earrings by Silversong jewelry


Making a hollow form silver clay ring

One of the benefits of starting the Make A Ring A Month movement is that I get to choose the theme each month! I had already settled on texture as the theme for January and had a good idea of what I wanted my ring to look like. And weirdly it has ended up as I imagined it would (that doesn't often happen!).
I decided to create a hollow form ring because I am a bit obsessed with making box forms at the moment. If you'd like to learn how to do that I suggest taking a look at this online course with Tracey Spurgin.


I then carved into the silver clay to make the texture. I use the dockyard micro carving tools

I kiln fired the ring (I always recommend kiln firing rings as they need the strength of a long hot firing). I fired at 880 centigrade for 1.5 hours. Although I'll add here that I'm pretty sure my kiln is underfiring at them moment meaning that it is heating up to lower than the temperature it states. I need to do a proper kiln test for it but with Art Clay Silver …

I started the ring a month 2019 challenge and it went viral!

There have been lots of jewellery challenges going around for the last couple of years including make a pendant a day, a ring a week, a bird a week etc. I do love these kind of thing but know that committing to making something every day or even every week is just too much for me. So I've been thinking for a while about a monthly challenge, something that would be some work but would still feel do-able.
On new years eve I decided to go for it and set up a Facebook group called Make a Ring a Month 2019. I posted about this group on one jewellery forum on the evening of 31st December and before the new year arrived 30 people signed up! By the next day, we'd hit 100 and we are currently on 189 members from all over the world.
When I first set it up I really didn't know how it would go. I thought that it might be me and about 20 other people that I know. I'm so glad that others have joined in too, it goes to show that it wasn't just me wanting a challenge for 2019.

Th…