Our jewellery making christmas list!

With christmas just around the corner we asked some of our staff what is on their jewellery making christmas list!

 

Jessica Rose – Founder

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Source etsy: https://www.etsy.com/market/aquamarine_beads

‘Gemstones! I love working with gemstone beads, particularly citrine, blue topaz, aquamarine …’

 

Anna Campbell – Tutor

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Source: http://www.metalclay.co.uk/jooltool/

Jool Tool and metal clay bead builders

‘After a visit to Metal Clay last month I am definitely coveting the Jool Tool, a polishing machine that I got to see in action! I would also like some of the metal clay bead builders in my christmas stocking! They are special moulds for metal clay to make Pandora-style beads in different shapes.’

 

Karen Young – Marketing Coordinator

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Source: http://www.fretzdesign.com/pt-17-fretz-hammer-pendant.html

Fretz Hammer Pendant

‘This is on my xmas wishlist! It is a really cute replica Fretz hammer pendant. I love my Fretz Hammers so would be nice to have a mini one to wear’

 

Helen Walls – Tutor

 

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Source: https://www.hswalsh.com/categories/combination-rolling-mills

 

Durston Rolling Mill

‘I love recycling my silver (and gold when it’s about) so it makes a sound investment for rolling out sheet and wire as well as texturing sheet’

 

Penny Akester – Tutor

 

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Source: http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-Tools/Sievert-Professional-Torch-Kit-prcode-999-AKZ1

 

Annealing pan and Sievert torch
‘An Annealing pan and Sievert torch (with a dedicated ‘hearth’ area in my workshop) – so that I can work on larger scale pieces and do more ‘home’ casting – I love experimenting with casting and making larger pieces and now I’m not working from home (in a block of flats with rather fussy neighbours) I can have a gas canister and full torch set-up – yay!
 
Mostly – just for me – a special treat – a Knew Concept saw – totally unnecessary, as I already have a fixed saw frame (my favourite), an adjustable one, and an extra deep one for cutting out big sections when a standard frame won’t reach, but this would be a real luxury treat gift – I keep hearing how lovely they are to work with, and maybe it will be so lovely to cut shapes out with, that it will save me the huge cost of the saw, in the reduction in broken saw blades? (I doubt it though!!)😉’

 

Annie Mason – Tutor

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Source: http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-Tools/-Range=Mandrels/-Size=0/-Type=0/-Brand=0/-Font=0/&prdsearch=y

 

‘Disc cutters and a large bangle mandrel!’

 

What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Christmas Opening Hours!

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Make a note in your diaries of our Christmas Opening Hours!  

We will be closed from 5pm on Friday 23rd December and will reopen on Wednesday 4th January at 9am inclusive to allow our hard working staff team and tutors to have a good rest over Christmas ready for a jam-packed 2017!  All emails and voicemails will be picked up when we get back on 4th January!

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And don’t forget – the last postal date for kits and gift vouchers will be by 5pm on 22nd December (although we will still be able to provide electronic gift vouchers on the 23rd for you to print out at home).

Have a great week! x

 

 

10 wirework christmas decorations to inspire you

This Christmas tutor Anna Campbell has been inspired to make her own wirework Christmas decorations. Have a look at some of these fabulous ideas:

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Wire christmas ornament hangers via WireExpressions

 

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Holly decoration via Earth Balance Craft

 

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Celtic tree ornament via Nicholas and Felice

 

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Christmas globe via Eni Fenyvesl

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Christmas wreath via Louise Goodchild Designs

 

 

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Beaded angels via Dotty Beads

 

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Swarovski snowflake via Rosie Willett Designs

 

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Wire christmas tree wall hanging via Better Homes and Gardens

 

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Beaded star and tree via Minimalisti

 

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Snowman via wiremajigs

 

Are you inspired to take one of our one day wirework jewellery classes? We have a couple of places left for December classes and have classes scheduled into 2017

Beginners wire weaving

Beginners wire wrapping

Wire jewellery with Linda Jones

 

Do share your creations with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Make your own silver findings

Based on student feedback we have recently launched a new one day advanced silver class called Make your own silver findings, where you learn to craft your own findings such as ear wires, clasps, and brooch pins. This allows you to truly customise your designs and add a handcrafted and bespoke element to your work.

This class is specially designed for those who have attended our soldering masterclass or are confident with soldering and using a torch so that you can get straight down to work.

Projects covered will include:

  • earrings (earring hooks and soldered posts)
  • clasps (a T-­bar or Toggle clasp and an S-­clasp)
  • brooch pin
  • making your own jump rings

Once you’ve learned these techniques you’ll have the skills to make the pieces you imagine. Here are some innovative metal findings to inspire you:

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Handmade toggle clasp via ArtFire

 

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Sterling silver toggle clasp via McDaddio

 

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Copper wire clasp via Karisma by Kara Jewelry

 

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S shaped clasp via Jewelry Foster

 

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Handmade copper earring wires by Rockismetalwork

 

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Earring wires via Creating Unkamen

 

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Brooch pin by Gustavo Paradiso

 

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Brooch pin by Emily Watson

Click here for more information about this class including the next class with available places.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Christmas themed jewellery

Have you got your christmas jumper? Anna Campbell has been looking for some Christmas-themed jewellery to wear over the holiday season…

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Wire wreath earrings via Shiney Rocks

 

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Swarovski christmas tree brooch via Morning Glory Antiques

 

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Sterling silver cracker bracelet charm via Nick Hubbard

 

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Silver deer earrings via Kaya Jewellery

 

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Red glitter bulb earrings via Claires

 

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Christmas tree cufflinks via DH Gate

 

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Christmas holly brooch via Rosie Bull Designs

 

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String of fairy lights necklace via Village Silversmith

 

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Poinsettia bracelet via Around the beading table

 

 

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Holly necklace via CSL Designs

Are you inspired to create some Christmas-themed pieces this festive season?

Author:  Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Celebrating jewellery collaborations – the Pass it Along Project

In March we featured a blog post about the Pass it Along Project, a jewellery collaboration project spearheaded and collated by LJS tutor Penny Akester to challenge jewellers to work with others from around the world on the same piece of jewellery. LJS tutors that participated include Penny Akester, Hayley Kruger, Helen Walls, Anna Campbell, Annie Mason and Natasha Williams. The first iteration of the project is now complete so we thought we’d share some of the finished pieces.

What is the Pass it Along project?

The Pass It Along project is a group jewellery making challenge – it is open to any jeweller who was interested in challenging themselves. It was designed to enable unexpected and unplanned collaboration between makers – to generate new ideas and inspiration, as well as connections with other jewellers. The idea is based on the idea of a chain letter, game of pass the parcel, or a game of consequences – everyone taking part is allocated one of three themes, and starts to make a piece of jewellery, they didn’t complete the piece however, they passed it along to someone else in the group who continued to work on the jewel. It was then passed along to a third person who put the piece together and completed it / made it wearable, then on to a fourth who got to keep the piece, and who shared images of the piece. It meant that everyone who signed up got to take part at each stage of the project, and everyone got to keep a jewel too.

 

Some examples of the pieces collaborated on by LJS tutors

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Piece no 32, was created by Tilly Wilkinson, using copper sheet and enamel, changed by Anna Campbell, who used wire, collated by Penny Akester, who used tercel yarn to add kumihimo braiding and created a necklace.

 

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Piece no 13 was a collaboration between Angela Dickson, Ana Pina and Annie Mason

 

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Piece no 35 was created by Rosa Elena Rivera using bronze metal clay, silver clay, Pebeo paints and bronze tubing to ‘create’ the pendant. Dicle Erver then ‘changed’ the piece by using wire binding techniques with craft wire in varying shades of purple to compliment the subtle tones originally created by Rosa with the Pebeo paints. Natasha Williams ‘collated’ the final piece by adding brass chain, which provides a backdrop for the whole piece and enables Dicle’s wire addition to wind it’s way around the chain and pulling the whole piece together.

 

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Piece no 38 was started by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc in etched aluminium, changed by Hayley Kruger using ink, pencil crayons, paper, perspex, saw piercing and finishing techniques.

It was collated by Lisa Welbourn using sterling silver, silver clay, lava beads, rubber neck cord.

 

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Piece no 56 was made by Julia Dainty, Helen C. Walls & Aimée Cope in Silver & Peridot.

 

Where can I see all the finished pieces?

You can view the online exhibition of pieces here

 

How can I get involved in the next Pass it Along round?

The Pass it Along project is a great challenge and learning experience for jewellery makers with any level of jewellery making experience. You can find out more information about the current project and can sign up to be involved in the next round here.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

New jewellery classes and revamped favourites

As you may have noticed, our tutors have been working on some exciting new additions to the courses we offer at LJS for both beginners and more advanced practitioners and we’d love to invite you to book a place!

These new classes include:

Silver jewellery

Silver stacked bangles

Make your own silver findings

Granulation and fusing

Channel setting in silver

Collet setting in silver

Grain setting in silver

Silver clay jewellery

Make a metal clay charm bracelet

Evening and taster classes

For those of you that are working in London during the day, check out our new evening and taster classes:

Stacked silver rings taster (1 evening)

Stone setting 10 week evening class (10 weeks)

Soldering and stone setting in silver (5 weeks)

Perspex jewellery taster (1 evening)

Mixed media jewellery (5 weeks)

Guided workshops

Based on feedback from you, we also now have silver and metal clay guided workshops. These are designed for those with some experience who would like to work on their own projects using our facilities with an expert tutor on hand to answer any questions.

Silver guided workshop

Metal clay guided workshop

Phew! Lots of exciting new courses to tempt you with! But we haven’t forgotten some of our old favourite classes. Tutor Helen Walls has designed all new projects for our beading classes.

Beginners beading

Designed for complete beginners or those who would like to practice and develop their skills.

Earring project

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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Use bead caps
  • Make neat and even loops in wire
  • Open and close jump rings

Stacking bangles


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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bangles from wire
  • Create your own finish on the bangles including a hammered texture
  • Add charms and beads to your bangle

Necklace with decorative components

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You will learn how to

  • Add beads and charms using wire and jump rings
  • Add chain

Double-row necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Use stringing materials e.g. tiger tail
  • Effectively design your piece so it hangs well
  • Use crimps
  • Professionally finish your pieces

Intermediate beading

Designed for those that have attended beginners beading or those with some beading experience, you will learn a wide variety of more advanced skills on this one day class

Cluster cocktail ring and single stone cocktail ring

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You will learn how to

  • Make and size your own ring with wire
  • Wire wrap beads to decorate your ring
  • Make a wire ring with a focal bead

Tassel earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Create a rosary link
  • Add chain to make a tassel

Bracelet

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You will learn how to

  • Design your own bracelet with multiple components
  • Create a rosary link chain of beads
  • Link elements with wire and jump rings

T bar and toggle clasp

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke findings to match your jewellery designs
  • Make an effective toggle clasp out of wire

Lariat necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Make a lariat clasp in your choice of shape
  • Make a cluster bead pendant
  • Attach chain

Advanced beading

Designed for those that are ready to take their skills to the next level, some more advanced and complex skills and the opportunity to work on your own mixed media project with tutor support

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You will learn how to

  • Weave beads and chain to make a cuff
  • Design your own mixed media variation including cord, buttons etc
  • The same techniques can be used to make other types of jewellery including earrings

Structured earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own wire frames
  • Add beaded elements
  • Use these design to make a pendant, necklace, lariat etc

Freestyle project

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You will learn how to

  • Use the techniques you have learnt to design a statement piece with tutor support
  • Experiment with mixed media including wire, beads, chain, buttons, cord, fringing, ribbon etc

Hopefully we have something new to tempt you to come and visit us in our new studio at Hatton Garden! If you have any ideas for courses you would like to see please do let us know. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Spotlight on Robyn Golding Jewellery!

In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were thrilled by the amazing designs entered!   So many of you wanted to know more about the designers behind the winning entries.
In part 1 of this series we featured Kim Styles who won 2nd Place in the competition.  And in part 2 we spoke to Vlad Zoldak who won 1st place for the amazing Interstellar Ring design.  Today we are speaking to Robyn Golding who won 3rd place for her innovative, mixed media Green Fingers Ring!
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Huge congratulations Robyn!  Your Green Fingers Ring is so unusual and innovative!  What was the inspiration behind the ring?

My inspiration came from the recycled materials I use in my work, as well as many found objects – in this piece it was from a small sapling, relating the piece into gardening enhanced by the literal interpretation of having green fingers.

 

How and when did your jewellery making journey start?

My interest in jewellery started at a very young age, I have grown up with my mum collecting, making and selling jewellery and always bringing home weird and wonderful items. I also grew up with the stories of my grandad making glass animals in Brighton and was always interested in following in this by creating my own jewellery/wearable art.

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Have you had any formal training?

I studied jewellery design at Hereford College of Arts and graduated with a 2:1 upper second class in 2013.

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Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next?

I have always been a magpie for collecting items on my travels at home and overseas, I have a huge collection of items that I draw inspiration from and use within my work, such as rocks, glass, plastics, bubble wands and much more. I also spent most of my childhood growing up by the beach and I love beachcombing, this has inspired my most recent collection of jewellery called ‘I can hear the sea’.

 

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What are your favourite techniques or medium? 

With my recent collection, I am using a lot of silver granulation, I love this technique as it is simple and can achieve excellent quick results, I also love to use lots of found objects within my work as I love the idea of recycling, repurposing and the history in a piece.

 

What are your favourite tools? 

I am a bit unconventional when it comes to some of the tools I use, although my torch, piercing saw and pliers and like extra limbs for me I also like using less conventional tools such as spoons to help stone setting and nails as centre punches, whatever is comfortable to achieve the desired finish.

 

What is your favourite thing(s) that you have made to date? 

As previously mentioned I am working on a new collection ‘I can hear the sea’ and since moving away to the countryside in 2015 my love for the sea is very important. I love all the pieces I make and get attached to a lot of my work once its completed which makes it very hard to part with but I am especially fond of some of the early pieces I made from my plastic doll series of work as I feel these reflect the beginning of my journey into becoming a mixed media jeweller.

 

What is next? 

I hope to build up my collection of work and eventually practice fulltime as I currently only make part time whilst working full time, I also aim to participate in more craft shows and build up my online presence.

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Where can we see more of your work?

My work can be found on instagram @ruegold.jewellery,  Facebook: Robyn Golding’s Proximo Jewellery and I sell my work on Etsy: Robyn Golding Jewellery.

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!  We just love your work and can’t wait to see your new collection and what happens next for you!   

 

 

Adventures in wax carving – Week 3!

So if you have been following my weekly diary of my 5 week Wax Carving Evening Class at the London Jewellery School you will know that after week 1 and week 2 we are getting close to finishing our first projects and spent most of week 3 refining and finishing our designs so our waxes were as perfect as possible before being cast!  Apparently it takes 3 times as long to fix any imperfections in silver as it does in wax so tutor, Sophie Arnott, spent a lot of time this week checking our waxes and helping us make those minor improvements that would save us precious time later!

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There were lots of busy hands this week! 

In the case of my design – I had to burr out some of the wax underneath to reduce the weight of the final piece.  That was pretty hairy as I was using a burr in a pendant motor.  Now whilst I have used a pendant motor many times before over the years, I have only ever scooped out the underside of waxes by hand (and I typically use burrs in a pin vice and do by hand too) so using burrs in a motor was a new experience for me and it was very easy to slip!  I was worried about burring out too much wax but Sophie assured me you can usually take away lots more than you think.

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My 1st Finished Wax

Once I had finished burring out the wax it was time to refine the finish of the wax so it was nice and smooth.  To do this we used many grades of sandpaper (haven’t met anyone who enjoys sanding yet and this class is no exception but it is necessary!) to smooth the surface and remove any scratches or imperfections.  I then finished off the surface with steel wool for a really nice smooth finish.  Finally, as I had a few curls of wax left on my piece that I couldn’t quite reach with the sandpaper or steel wool I wafted my piece over a flame which melted the excess and left a lovely smooth finish!  It is easy to overdo it and you do need to watch that you don’t melt your piece (or burn your fingers) but boy does it make a difference!

And as promised, here are some shots of my fellow students amazing waxes!

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Aren’t their designs stunning!?  Quite extraordinary that 7 people taking the same course are using the techniques learned in such different ways!  I just can’t wait to see what everybody does for their second project!

Until next time!

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio

So what exactly is metal clay?

You may have seen that we have metal clay classes at the London Jewellery School but what exactly is metal clay and how can you use it? Metal clay artist and tutor Anna Campbell updates you on the latest developments

Metal clay has been around since the 1990s but many people have never heard of it so I thought I would give a general overview and a rundown of the latest products available on the market. This year there have been a lot of exciting advances and new brands/products entering the market so the metal clay market is growing.

Just to note, I am focussing here on the brands that are easy to purchase in the UK without import costs. There are other brands available but at the time of writing these are not as easily accessible as those featured here.

 

What is metal clay?

All metal clays have the same basic structure – metal particles, a binder to bind the metal particles together and some water to form the clay. This can be moulded, shaped and textured before drying and firing – either with a jewellers torch or in a kiln to form metal.

All metal clays can be hallmarked by the assay office.

 

Silver clay

The two main manufacturers of silver clay are Aida (Art Clay Silver Clay) and Mitsubishi (PMC3). We use Art Clay Silver Clay in our classes at the London Jewellery School but if you have used one you can use the other in exactly the same way. Fine silver clay is also known as 999 meaning that for every 1000 particles, 999 are silver and 1 is copper.

Silver clay is available in different forms which lend themselves to different ways of designing. These are clay, syringe, paste and paper.

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Silver clay and syringe by Jeanette Landenwitch

 

Syringe

The syringe allows you to do finer silver work e.g. filigree. It is also useful for filling in any cracks or gaps in your work. Both Art Clay and PMC have syringe clay available.

 

Paste

Paste is a watered down version of clay that acts like a glue, perfect for sticking two pieces of clay together. Artists like Terry Kovalcik also use paste for painting amazing designs on their pieces.

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Pendant, painting with paste by Terry Kovalcik

 

Paper

Silver clay paper is a flat, dry sheet of clay that can be cut, woven and folded. I have recently written a blog post on origami with silver.

 

PMC flex

PMC flex is a type of fine silver clay that is flexible and has a longer drying time. Perfect if you find you need a little more time to create your pieces, it can be torch or kiln fired.

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Art Clay Silver 950 – sterling silver clay

 

Sterling silver clay

Sterling silver is also known as 925. This means that there are 925 particles of silver to 75 particles of copper. Sterling silver is widely recognised in the UK and is stronger that fine silver so is perfect for making rings, bangles or other pieces that need more strength. You can also roll it out a little thinner as it maintains its strength and is a little stronger in the greenware stage (when dry but before firing) although still take care when you’re filing! It carves and engraves well. However, it does have to be kiln fired, torch firing is not sufficient.

Previous incarnations of the sterling silver clay needed a two firing system using carbon but this year both Art Clay (Art Clay 950 Sterling silver clay) and PMC (PMC sterling onefire) have released one fire clays. For more information you can have a look at a previous blog post I wrote about trying out Art Clay 950.

For those that are selling their metal clay pieces sterling silver clay is an attractive option as customers know what it is and are confident buying hallmarked sterling silver however the need for a kiln can put people off.

 

Gold

At the time of writing 3g of Art Clay gold is £259.95! Youch! It may not surprise you to know that I have not tried using it! However, there are other ways of adding gold to metal clay. I have had success with accent gold for silver which is 24 carat gold that you can paint onto fired on unfired silver clay. It is still costly, £92.95 for 1 gram, but a little does go a long way as you are only painting a layer onto the surface of the clay.

You can also use keum boo, a gold foil that is adhered to fired silver clay. You can learn how to do this on our one day intermediate metal clay class.

 

Base metal clays

Base metal means non-precious metals e.g. bronze, copper, iron and steel.

 

Copper

Copper clay is available from a number of manufacturers, for a full list see here. Art Clay Copper (at the time of writing) is the simplest of the clays to fire as it can be torch or kiln fired. Copper clay is an affordable option although not everyone likes to wear copper jewellery. However, it could be a good option for making larger pieces like bracelets.

london-jewellery-school-blog-anna-campbell-bronze-clay-piece-by-anna-mazon

Bronze clay neckpiece by Anna Mazon (made from Goldie Bronze)

 

 

Bronze

I have enjoyed experimenting recently with bronze clay. I have been using Goldie Bronze. It is also very affordable and comes in many different colours. It arrives in powder form and is easy to make up into clay with ordinary tap water (I have a two minute video on how to do that here). This allows you to mix up the amount you need when you need it. Hard is great for making bangles and rings whereas soft is easier to carve and texture so a mix of both has, in my opinion, given me the best of both worlds. Firing Goldie Bronze does also have to be done in a two part schedule in the kiln in activated coconut carbon and, if you do it right, it works! In the UK you can purchase Goldie Bronze from Metal Clay Ltd. Metal Clay have also recently started stocking the Aussie Metal Clay brand and I’m looking forward to having a play with it. There are other brands of bronze clay on the UK market including Metal Adventures and Prometheus.

 

Other base metals

Other metal clays available include brass clays and iron clays.

 

Final thoughts

The original fine silver clay is still the most reliable to fire. However, it is among the more expensive of the metal clays to work with so doing some experimenting with other metal clays could prove worthwhile, particularly if you have a design for a larger piece in mind. I really wanted to make a chunky bracelet in metal clay and am currently doing so in Goldie Bronze. The cost of the same amount of clay in silver would have been prohibitive.

You do need to fire the majority of metal clays in a kiln (with the exception of art clay copper) but you may be able to find a kiln firing service in your area if you don’t have one yourself.

The final thing to note is that you do need separate tools for working with the different metals. Contamination from one type of clay to another can result in the piece not firing correctly and all your work is wasted. My main set of tools is for silver clay (as I started working in it I have more tools for silver!). I have a box of tools, texture sheets, clay roller etc that have just been used for bronze clay. Make sure you mark your tools clearly. In practice it hasn’t meant buying too many duplicate tools and I think the opportunity to try other metals has made the added investment worthwhile.

For a more in depth run down of the different brands of clay on the market see this excellent article from Metal Clay Academy

If you’ve been inspired to try a silver clay class why not join us for a day? The following classes are in silver clay:

Beginners metal clay class

Intermediate metal clay class – in this class you get the chance to add gold to your silver clay in one of the projects.

Would you like to try working with paper clay? Enrol on our silver paper clay class.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs