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Showing posts from May, 2014

Metal clay metal types

This blog post is being reblogged (and slightly modified) and was originally written for the London Jewellery School blog and published on 27th May 2014

Silver and gold metal clays have been obtainable since the 1990s but other metal clays are now on the scene. Here is some information about what is available.
Pieces made by me from PMC silver clay
Silver Silver clay is a putty like substance made up of silver particles, a binder and some water. It can be rolled, textured and worked in a similar way to ceramic clays. Once it is dried it can be fired with a butane torch or in a kiln. The resulting piece is 999 fine silver and of hallmark quality. The two main manufacturers of silver clay are Aida (Art Clay) and Mitsubishi (PMC). I have used both clay types and tend to buy whichever is cheaper at the time! I don’t have a particular preference. Silver clay is available in different forms - lump clay, syringe, paste and paper.
Sterling silver Sterling silver is also known as 925. This means tha…

Motivation Monday - attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure

1000 beads book review

This post was first published by the London Jewellery School on their blog

If you’re not familiar with publisher Lark Crafts500 series’ of books then you’re in for a treat. Each book features 500 gorgeous pieces of contemporary craft following a theme and with titles such as 500 rings and 500 pendants and lockets (among others) there are lots (and lots!) of gorgeous pieces to inspire.


The latest book gives us even more - 1000 beads. Beads have been made and worn for at least 40,000 years with many beautiful examples being found at archaeological digs. The importance of jewellery and adornment through the centuries has been demonstrated with beads being found in graves and featured in art including sculpture. The latest offering from Lark Crafts is an enchanting book to flick through or pore over featuring beads made from artists from all over the world (including Lynne Glazzard from Yorkshire whose silver clay, enamel and glass lampwork beads feature on the front cover). This satisfyin…

Motivation Monday - you need to let go

Momentum!

I'm rather a fan of Marianne Cantwell who wrote the book Be a Free Range Human. Every Friday she sends out an email newsletter that I highly recommend you subscribe to on her website. Last week she was writing about procrastination and gave some excellent advice that is worth a read. One of the things she recommends I hadn't heard of before, it is the Momentum Google Chrome plugin. This is a free plugin for those that use Google Chrome as a web browser. Ever time you open a new tab in your web browser you get a lovely photo (a new one each day). You are also asked each day to type in your main focus for the day which is a gentle reminder to focus on what is important for the day. It also allows you to type in an online to do list.
I've just got it myself but I really like it. Give it a try - you can get information on it here.

Motivation Monday - dream, believe, do, repeat

Always learning

This blog post was first published for the London Jewellery School blog. I have made a few slight changes here.
I met my first serious boyfriend at university when I did my undergraduate degree. Among other things he called me a ‘paper chaser’, someone who loves the validation of a certificate. We split up years ago when I had one degree. I do now have five so maybe he had a point. As a tutor at the LondonJewellerySchool, teaching beginners and intermediate classes, I am rather obsessed with continual betterment (I suspect you didn’t need to live with me for six years to work that one out). I am one of ten people in the world (so far) to achieve the higher diploma in metal clay at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery. I also have qualifications in both of the main metal clay brands, Art Clay and PMC. While it’s true that I do like a certificate, it’s mostly because it is proof of attainment of a certain level of skill. More important to me than the piece of paper is to develop and p…

Motivation Monday - create the things you wish existed

Wire wrapping class with Lisa Barth

Last week I attended a two day wire wrapping class with Lisa Barth. She is an American metal clay and jewellery artist. I have attended a class with her before and really love her wire work style.
The masterclass was hosted by Tracey Spurgin of Craftworx in her excellent teaching studio.
On the first day we learnt how to do the wire wrap stitch and we made earrings. The trick with this is to make two the same! Not easy.


On the second day we used the skills we'd learnt to make a wire wrapped pendant. I chose to use a boulder opal that my friend Kate had brought from her stone stash. You can't really see in the photo but it has some lovely neon flecks of blue.
I also decided to stretch myself and add seed beads to the wire wrap.


It was difficult to get the wire to fit just right around the stone but Lisa was on hand to help and tell me what small adjustments were needed. I'm really pleased with the final pieces and I found the whole course very inspirational.

Student success

I'm very pleased that one of my students Ann of Ann's jewels is really coming into her own. I first met her on one of my IT for artists courses at the Mary Ward Centre when she lacked confidence about her abilities as she had been a full time mother for many years so had been out of the job market. I encouraged her to take the NCFE qualification in Creative Craft (jewellery) at the CSACJ
This is a photo that she took of her qualification piece. She has incorporated chainmaille, silver clay and beading in this piece and I love the balance of it.