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Behind the scenes at Making Jewellery magazine - writing a silver clay jewellery tutorial

I'm really excited that the silver clay tutorial I wrote for Making Jewellery magazine had been published. I was even more excited that my work was chosen for the front cover!

I was commissioned to write the tutorial by Sian Hamilton, the editor of Making Jewellery magazine.
Each issue has a theme and the theme for issue 114, January 2018 was fire and ice. I was asked to make six different pieces, write the step by step instructions and take photos as well. It's a lot to do and I didn't have a long time to get it done.

I started off thinking about designs. I actually started making a totally different piece but I woke up one morning and decided it wasn't complex enough for a tutorial. It was two days of work and I had to start from scratch but some elements of the idea did stick.

I decided to make lentil beads. These are round beads that are domed. It's an interesting project that works well in silver clay with lots of possibilities for beginners and more advanced learners so I decided that it would be good for the magazine.
I had to make 6 different pieces so I decided to do three styles - ice (pictured above), fire (pictured below right) and both (below left)!
I used a lot of gemstones - cubic zirconias from Metal Clay Ltd and beads for stringing the pieces onto from Shangrila gems. I also used Vintaj patina and XLgel liver of sulphur from Metal Clay Ltd.

Making jewellery on the train!
My husband helped me with the photos as I often needed to have my hands in the shot to show what I was doing. I used white A4 paper in the background of these shots. I found that part difficult. With silver clay you are often working fast to get things done and stopping to photograph, especially when you have bright lights heating everything up, was tough. I actually made some of the pieces on a train journey! I travel between Edinburgh and London a lot and the journey is 4 hours and 20 minutes so there's time for some making!

I actually wrote the tutorial after everything was made rather than at the time. As an experienced teacher I am used to writing handouts and step by step instructions and I enjoyed doing that part.

The jewellery needed to be sent to the magazine office for professional photography (I have it back now!)
It is a lot of work but it was a great challenge and is fantastic seeing my work in print. I hope to do at least one more in 2018!


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