We spent the day with Julia Rai, of Cornwall School of Art, Craft and Jewellery on an introduction to Metal Clays day. What a fascinating medium to work with.
Julia's studio is spacious and well laid out. There are loads of finished items on display, to whet your appetite and get your creativity flowing. After an introduction to the medium, the methods and a little history we set to work.
The pack we worked with contained 5g of the product (we used another 5g after lunch), sufficient for a large-ish pendant, or a pair of earrings. We were shown how to prepare, shape and tidy our pieces. They were dried, checked for finish then fired.
Because our pieces were fairly small, it was not necessary to fire them in a kiln, we could achieve the desired result with a blow lamp - the same type that would crisp up the topping on a creme brûlée.
The piece was quickly quenched, then the final burnishing and polishing was done - et voila! Silver jewellery, ready to wear!
Thank you to Julia for a fascinating day, and some new skills. There is much more to learn and we will be going back for some advanced training later in the year.
If you fancy learning how to use this fairly recent innovation visit Cornwall School of Art, Crafts and Jewellery; and for inspiration, Julia's own site.