Saturday, 17 May 2014

Da Bling! Nah wat ah meen?

The Studio
Back from Bodmin with a bag of stash!
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.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Jewellery making

Picture: Metal clay pendant by Denise Chan - Creative Commons
To get all that creativeness flowing before the convention on 31 May, my dearly beloved and I are off to Devon to try our hand at jewellery making - with a difference.

We are going to spend a day using metal clay - a combination of precious metal powder and a binder. Once formed, the piece is fired in a kiln, or heated with a blow torch, to fuse the particles and burn off the binder. Apparently it been around since the early 90s, and was developed in Japan.

I'll get some pictures to show you how we get on.