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Learning from the masters!

I have been very fortunate to be able to attend masterclasses in metal clay with a number of fantastic artists. I spend a large proportion of my income on doing this as it is my passion and I know that by spending a couple of days with someone you learn so much more than you ever will from a book (although I love books too!)
I am now looking at the masterclasses for 2014 (I'll write about those in a future post!) but I thought I would think over what the artists I have studied with so far have taught me. Not just techniques as there have been too many of those to list, but a general ethos to inspire and inform my work.

Julia Rai is a British metal clay artist, fantastic teacher and director at the Cornwall School of Arts Craft and Jewellery. She was the first person in the world to achieve Metal Clay Masters registry level 4 (there are 5 levels).
I have taken five accredited courses with her and have learnt more every time.
I think the main thing I have taken from studying with her is the importance of attention to detail. When she puts her glasses on (we always try to hide those!) she will point out any dinks or imperfections in the clay that need to be dealt with. This has stood me in good stead, everything needs to be perfect before firing as it's much easier to fix at that stage.






Terry Kovalcik

I was very fortunate to take a locket class with Terry at Craftworx studio, Yorkshire. He is a fantastic artist and teacher.
The thing I took from Terry was measure twice, cut once.

I am not a measurer as I tend to be a bit impatient but I have learnt the importance of ensuring everything is accurate the hard way, particularly with precision work like making metal clay boxes. Terry uses dividers to accurately measure and I have invested in some for myself to help me be as accurate as possible.






Lisa Barth


I took a silver clay and leather cuff class with Lisa this year. It was kind of an unusual class for me to take as a vegetarian but I used faux leather and was happy with the results.
In Lisa's excellent book Designing from the Stone she talks about not being naturally talented but very committed to learning. So I learnt from Lisa persistence.






Patrik Kusek

I was very fortunate to be on the first Rio Rewards PMC certification run outside of the US. It was run at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery.

I learnt from Patrik to make learning lighthearted and fun!




Anna Mazon

I love Anna's work and bought one of her rings which I love.
What I learnt from Anna is to keep working at it to find your own style












Joy Funnell

I love the work Joy does with enamel on silver clay so I took a one to one tutorial with her in her home studio. I learnt from Joy to mix the old and new - the old techniques of enamelling with the new product silver clay.

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