Tag Archives: metal clay

What to say about metal clay? A silversmith tries silver clay

Lil Adams is our Sunday studios manager and is a silversmith who loves wax carving. She decided to try one of our metal clay classes to see what she thought!

I’m usually one who likes to bash away at silver or cast a random object. But I I couldn’t resist the evening taster course in Metal Clay at London Jewellery School to see what all the fuss is about.

Metal clay is a little bit like magic. The material goes from being very much a malleable clay to a very much set solid silver. Which is still a surprise even though you know it will happen. It can be soldered onto, but also pieces can be attached with water before the heating process. This is a very versatile material to experiment with, it can be used to set stones, enamelled onto and have gold added to it. There are different types of metal clay, like paper clay that can be folded for delicate creations or origami shapes and metal clay that comes in a syringe used to make hollow beads or add detail. It’s a great way to make impressive results quickly. There is no waste, as any extra metal clay pieces can be ground down to use again. Metal clay can take a deep pattern that might be tricky to achieve from sheet metal and fine prints from fingerprints or even feathers. Larger pieces do need a kiln, there may be one accessible to you in your local area, and it’s worth trying community colleges if you are not quite ready to invest in your own.

Here are my creations from the silver clay taster class: (just a little snap on my phone, I have used patina!)

Metal Clay Earrings

Different textured asymmetrical earrings

& Metal Clay ring

Ring made from a leftover blob with stamped ampersand symbol.

So what’s the verdict for me and metal clay? I think it’s such a versatile material I would like to experiment with it more to try out different possibilities. It’s good to have my fingerprint in the metal clay pie in case a design idea I have would work best with metal clay. If my hammering arm tires or the noise starts to really annoy my neighbours I will definitely try immersing myself in the magical world of metal clay. As there are 9 other metal clay courses taught a London Jewellery School there is enough to get any metalhead fired up.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting. You can see her work on Instagram @smalltoad_jewellery

50% off online metal clay class with Jewellers Academy

We’re excited to share that our sister company Jewellers Academy has launched the pre-sale of a brand new online metal clay course 🎉

And right now, you can get 50% off in the pre-sale! 🤗
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Fancy Bezels, Prongs and Bails in Metal Clay is taught by world-renowned metal clay artist Julia Rai and is designed for those with some experience of working with metal clay. On the course you will learn:

Two interesting stone setting techniques:

  • A fancy bezel (to set natural stones that have to be set after firing)
  • A prong setting (to set fire-in place stones) creating each prong out of metal clay by hand

Plus ways to embellish your work with:

  • Small components to add detail
  • Different bail types to add interest

You will also learn:

  • How to use jewellers investment to make a mould of your stone to create the correct size of bezel
  • Design ideas on how to create interesting layered designs
  • Plus lots of tips and tricks that Julia shares along the way

(Note: this is an advanced online course and it is recommended that the pieces are kiln-fired).

Take a look at the trailer:

 

 

And best of all, you can get 50% off in the pre-sale! The cost of the course will be £79 but with discount code BAILS at checkout, you can purchase it for £39.50 (Pre-sale discount ends on 12th November 2018).

This is an online course which launches on 13th November so there’s not long to wait! On that date, you will get access to all 11 professionally filmed videos as well as downloadable notes. You get lifetime access to the course and can watch the videos as often as you want.

Click here to find out more and to purchase the course >

Switch to a career you love. Train as a professional jeweller with three Jewellery Diplomas to choose from at the London Jewellery School 💍

Are you itching for a change in career? Or would you like a side hustle – a creative business you can work on part-time at your own pace? Why not consider studying jewellery making in more depth with one of our Diploma courses.

The cost of a degree nowadays, coupled with the amount of time you need to devote to it, means that people are looking for alternative, more flexible options to fit in with their day to day life and work. Many of our Diploma students have successfully completed the course while working or raising a family. With only one day of study per week for a year AND weekend day options there is bound to be a solution for you.

 

We have three Diploma courses for you to choose from, all starting in September this year.

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Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Taught 1 day per week – choose from Wednesday or Sunday

Not done much jewellery making before or want to try lots of methods of jewellery making? Then our Diploma in Creative Jewellery is for you. You can choose either the Wednesday or Sunday course days this September.

This comprehensive Diploma Course is fantastic, as it introduces you to a wide range of jewellery making techniques, both traditional and contemporary, and really helps you to find your jewellery making ‘voice’ and unique style.  The Course will take you from a beginner in jewellery making to a professional standard and focuses on combining a mixture of traditional jewellery skills such as silversmithing, stone setting, wax carving and enamel but is unique also in its focus on more contemporary methods and materials such as resin, perspex, metal clay and fashion jewellery. Although, the focus is on mastering the technical skills and techniques, over the course of the diploma you will also learn essential skills for starting and running your own jewellery brand including technical drawing, photographing your jewellery and a jewellery business day focusing on branding, USP and all the legalities of running your own business.

The Course runs over 3 terms of 12 weeks and Classes run 1 day per week with a maximum of 7 students per Class.  Each term, your work will be marked by an expert Tutor and constructive feedback will be given to ensure you are progressing and pushing yourself and your jewellery designs forwards.

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Diploma in Silver Jewellery

Taught one day per week on Saturdays

Want to focus on silversmithing? Then choose our Diploma in Silver Jewellery. Taught over two terms by our expert tutors who all have their own jewellery businesses. We have a course starting on Saturdays in September – perfect if you are busy during the week.

This course is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience of working with silver. You will be taken through the basics and then start to learn more advanced silversmithing techniques including soldering, stone setting, fold forming, wax carving and enamelling. You’ll have supervised practice time with an expert tutor and no more than 7 students in the group. Your work will be marked by an expert Tutor and you’ll be given support all the way through the course to learn, develop and find your own creative voice.

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Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Intensive

If you have completed one of our Diplomas or at an advanced level of study why not consider our Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery. This Intensive course taught over 2 and a half weeks starting on Monday 3rd September, with five taught days per week, is for you if you feel like you want to get to the next level with your jewellery work. Working in a small group with expert Tutors you will enjoy the benefits of intensive study. We will also support you in finding relevant work experience.

You can read Advanced Diploma graduate Lil Adam’s thoughts on the course here > Alumni from the course also includes Sally Costen who has since won a Silver Award in the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2018.

 

What if I’m not in London?

We have had Diploma students travel weekly from as far away as Dublin, Newcastle and Poole! The weekend classes are often a good choice if you are travelling from further afield as the travel costs are usually cheaper and the congestion charge is not in operation at weekends.

 

We understand that the Diploma courses are an investment both in time and money, so, we offer flexible payment plans to help you along the way.

We are proud of the fact that our Diploma Courses changes the lives of our students and opens them up to a world of techniques, friendships and experiences.

 

If you have any questions about any of our courses please do give us a call on 0203 176 0546. We are open during office hours 7 days a week. Alternatively, email us on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming you on one of our courses soon!

Ed Sheeran’s engagement ring 💍- starting a new trend for men?

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Ed Sheeran, photo by Eva Rinaldi

Congratulations to Ed Sheeran and his fiance Cherry Seaborn on their engagement.

As we are always pretty excited about a) rings and b) weddings we were really interested to read that Ed is wearing an engagement ring. Engagement rings for men are not traditional in the UK but perhaps it’s time to consider it as in other countries the customs around weddings are different. In Sweden it is traditional for both men and women to wear plain bands as an engagement ring and then only the woman receives an additional ring on the wedding day. In Chile both men and women wear engagement rings on their right hand and they move these to their left hand when they’re married (facts thanks to Jewellery Editor).

We were then doubly pleased to hear Sheeran say in an interview with the Sun “I never saw why men didn’t wear engagement rings, Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay. I really like it.”

Yay for silver clay! And for making your own rings!

If you’d like to learn how to make your own ring, for any reason, we have some options for you!

We have recently been having an increase in people coming for a private tuition to make their engagement ring and have heard some great engagement stories

We also run wedding ring making tuition just for the two of you

And if this story has made you intrigued about silver clay have a look at our classes

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Leonie Marks

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited to attend!

Today we feature jeweller Leonie Marks

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Where do you live? I live in Essex near the Blackwater Estuary

When did your interest in jewellery making start? I first became interested in making jewellery in 2010 when I thought how wonderful it would be to turn shells I had found in the Isles of Scilly and Essex into silver pendants.  I achieved this using metal clay and then started using sterling silver in sheet and wire form using basic soldering techniques to create different pieces.   

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I set a little studio up in my garden and then taught myself to set stones (in a fashion) which led me on to taking the Silver Diploma course as I desperately needed expertise in learning stone setting amongst numerous other techniques covered in the diploma course.   

 

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What was your favourite class on the diploma and why? I loved the whole diploma course as it covered so many different techniques and mediums which I would not otherwise have explored.  I would still say the Stone Setting was my favourite class.

What are your goals for the future? My goals are to continue to perfect my silversmithing skills – in particular stone setting – doing more short courses at the London Jewellery School.  I have a small business selling at fairs and online which I am aiming to expand over the next 12 months.  Since doing the online business course at The London Jewellery School I am currently setting up a new website which should be up and running in the next month.

You can follow Leonie and her work on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/leoniemarksjewellery

and Instagram – https://instagram.comleoniemarksjewellery

 

leonie-marks-bangle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryThe Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

Where: London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY How to find us

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

all images copyright Leonie Marks 2017

New book from tutor Julia Rai ‘Making metal clay jewellery’

We interviewed LJS metal clay tutor Julia Rai about her exciting first book ‘Making metal clay jewellery’

 

julia-rai-london-jewellery-school-blogJulia Rai is an artist, writer and teacher working predominately in metal clay. She has a teaching studio based just outside St Austell in Cornwall, UK and is a visiting tutor at the London Jewellery School.

Well known in the international metal clay community, she has been working with metal clay since 2004 and teaching it since 2007. She holds a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, the Higher Metal Clay Diploma, PMC Certification from Rio Grande and is an Art Clay Senior Instructor. She also holds the City and Guilds 7407 Further Education Teaching Qualification.

She is the Director of the Metal Clay Academy, an online resource for everyone interested in metal clay. Her spare time is currently taken up with working on projects for the metal clay Masters Registry and she has achieved Registry IV, the first person in the world to achieve this level.

She writes regularly for a number of magazines including Making Jewellery and Dolls House in the UK and the international Metal Clay Artist Magazine which is now online at Creative Fire.

She has just completed her first book ‘Making metal clay jewellery’ which is now available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

julia-rai-making-metal-clay-jewellery-london-jewellery-school-blogWho is the book for?

It’s aimed at those new to metal clay and/or those who are dabbling at home and need a reference book. I’ve covered all the types of fine silver clay – lump, sheet/paper type, paste and syringe in separate chapters so people can refer directly to the type of clay they are interested in. And of course, there are ways to combine these types covered in the book.

 

What types of project feature in the book?

It’s all jewellery. I’ve focused on making pieces of jewellery using the different types of silver clay and also included using glass, stones etc with the clay. There’s a chapter on making rings and one on hollow form beads too.

 

Do I need a kiln to make the projects in the book or can I use my torch?

Some require a kiln – like the glass and metal clay project – but many can be torch fired. I make it clear in the book which firing method would be best for the project and were the requirement is for kiln firing. For instance, it’s not pleasant – or safe – to fire something with a cork or wood clay core using a torch.

 

What is your favourite project in the book?

That’s a very hard question to answer as I enjoyed making everything. I think if I had to choose, it would be the glass and metal clay piece as this is colourful. As the book focuses on silver clay, the pieces are all silvery so having a bit of colour makes a nice change.

 

Why do you like working with metal clay?

Ever since I first discovered it, I’ve loved the accessibility and ease of working with it. The fact that you can teach a total novice to make a pendant and a pair of earrings in a three hour session is one of the reasons I love running taster classes. Often people say they didn’t believe they could make something so lovely and they are surprised by their own abilities. I love that.

 

Where can I buy the book and when is it published?

It is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US now. I will also be selling copies from the CSACJ website with the option for people to get a signed copy. And I’ll be taking some to the You Can Make It event being run by Metal Clay Ltd in March.

 

When will you be teaching at LJS this year?

I’ll be teaching the Art Clay Diploma Level 1 on 14th – 16th April and Level 2 on 26th – 29th May.

 

 

You Can Make It metal clay residential conference

2017 brings us the first You Can Make It metal clay residential conference! LJS tutor Anna Campbell is among the expert teachers travelling from all over the world to teach. Here she gives you more information about the conference and how to book

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I’m really excited to be a part of the You Can Make It residential metal clay conference. If, like me, you have tried metal clay and love it, why not join us? You will learn so much from all the teachers and all your fellow metal clayers. People at all levels of experience with metal clay are welcome.

 

When? 24-26th March 2017

Where? Springfield Country Hotel Leisure Club and Spa, Grange Road, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5AL, England

 

What?

YCMI is a residential metal clay conference held in a spa hotel in Dorset. There is a selection of full day masterclasses, hands on sessions, demos and talks to choose from taking place over the weekend. There are so many techniques and projects you can learn over the course of the weekend – check out the website for all the information.

There is also the chance to get to know other metal clayers, take part in a charm swap (where you make a number of metal clay charms and swap with others to build up your own unique bracelet) and the ‘Your favourite make’ competition, visit the Make it Market and more.

The event is sponsored and subsidised to make it as affordable as possible. Check out the YCMI website for all the details and to book your place. You need to choose your masterclass and hands on sessions at the time of booking so don’t wait – you don’t want your favourite class to be fully booked before you get on! You can check class availability here.

 

Worldwide expert tutors

Tutors are travelling from all over the UK and the world and they include Wanaree Tanner, Anna Mazon, Joy Funnell, Tracey Spurgin, Julia Rai, Carol Douglas, Anna Campbell, Grainne Reynolds, Leigh Armstrong, Petra Cameron, Kim Paige, Shayna Bowles and a Japanese guest artist from Aida (manufacturers of Art Clay) tbc.

 

Check out the YCMI website for all the details and to book your place. I hope to see you there!

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

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.

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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

 

Mindfulness – Origami with silver!

As I’m sure you noticed, the mindfulness craze for 2015 was adult colouring books. For 2016 it has been origami. But did you know that you can do origami with silver? Tutor Anna Campbell gives you the lowdown.

For many of us jewellery making is a hobby; a way to relax and create away from our day to day lives. The need to concentrate on what we are doing allows us to be consciously aware and focussing in the moment rather than worrying about the future or thinking about the past. This is the elusive state of mindfulness.

I’m sure you can’t have missed articles and books on mindfulness over the last few years. Through research, mindfulness has been found to be beneficial to

  • Reduce rumination (going over and over things in your head)
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost your working memory (this is an element of your short term memory)
  • Improve your focus
  • Increase flexibility in your thinking and problem solving abilities

(For more information on this see the research from Davis and Hayes, 2012)

There are a number of ways to add periods of mindfulness to your day to day life. Activities like yoga, tai chi and meditation have been famously studied but concentrating on a hobby is also on the list.

london-jewellery-school-blog-mindfulness-orla-kiely-colouring-book  LJS-Blog-Mindfullness-secret-garden-colouring-book

Last year, adult colouring books became all the rage (my personal favourites were Secret Garden and the Orla Kiely colouring books). I think the mindfulness aspect was one part of it but there is also the simple pleasure of going back to childhood and the only things to be concerned about – choosing the right colour and colouring inside the lines!

In 2016 origami was introduced to the mindfulness trend. Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures.

Origami with silver looks impressive but is hard to achieve with traditional silversmithing techniques. However, it is something we can achieve with metal paper clay.

Both the main brands of silver clay, Art Clay and PMC, have their own version of paper silver clay. Both are a dry, flat sheet of metal clay that can be cut, folded and shaped before being kiln fired.

Here are some examples of silver origami that have been created in our one day Metal clay – paper clay class

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Paper Clay ‘Windmill’ earrings by Anna Campbell

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Paper Clay ‘Paper Aeroplan’ earrings by Anna Campbell

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Paper Clay ‘Origami’ Pendant by Anna Campbell

Why not join us for your own mindfulness day and leave with some silver jewellery?

During the paper clay class you learn three different techniques

  • Weaving with strips of clay
  • Quilling (rolling and shaping strips of paper)
  • Origami

Our next class with places available is Monday 27th March 2017. More dates can be found on our website.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Behind the scenes at Create and Craft TV

Metal clay tutor Anna Campbell made her live TV debut for the London Jewellery School on Create and Craft TV last week. She gives us a behind the scenes look at what goes into making the show

 

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Earlier this year our founder and director Jessica Rose appeared for the first time on the shopping channel Create and Craft TV, showing a metal clay starter kit in action. It was very popular and Jess and the Create and Craft team decided to bring more London Jewellery School products and online courses to the channel. It was decided to continue the focus on metal clay. In January this year I had filmed the ‘torch fired stone setting in silver clay’ for Jewellery School Online so a stone setting kit was put together, along with the online course, to sell on the shows. Jess asked me if I would like to do the live TV demos and, of course, I said yes!

london-jewellery-school-blog-metal-clay-course-stone-setting-samples

 

Screen tests and samples

There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing to go on live TV. Firstly, I needed to travel up to Peterborough, where Create and Craft film their shows, to do a screen test. This was a fifteen minute demo of what I can do to check that I would be OK on camera. There’s a whole list of things you can and can’t say, can’t wear (some patterns etc can look funny on camera!) and there was even a helpful video to watch of dos and don’ts!

I had my screen test with presenter Martyn Parker who had just been on air so must have been ready for a break! To be honest, in my view it didn’t go that well! My metal clay wasn’t behaving but I was able to keep talking and was passed to go on live TV! It was a great learning experience and made me really think very carefully about getting everything ready for the real thing.

I needed to have lots of samples of finished pieces that could be made with both the beginners kits and the stone setting kit to show. This really helps people get inspiration about the finished products that can be made with the tools and the online classes. I also needed some ‘here’s one I made earlier’ pieces so there was no waiting around on the show. Luckily, Jess had the finished samples that she had used previously for the beginners kits so I could focus on the stones. I went to LJS to pick up some samples from the stone setting silver clay class and put them on chains and cords. I also made some more pieces myself to take for display and to show as work in progress.

 

On the day

My shows were at 4pm and 7pm on 7th October. I was glad that they were later in the day as I could travel up from home and back in a day.

When I arrived I went into the green room to get ready. I got changed and did my makeup and hair (sadly there are no make up artists to do that for you!). Then I was able to go into the studio to set up the display of jewellery and the demonstration area. You have to be quiet in there as the live show is filming in the same studio so I tried not to drop anything!

The staff in the studio were so helpful, helping me set up the jewellery, unravelling chains and generally remembering the stuff that I might have forgotten! There was a bit of concern about the torch firing demonstration. It is something we do safely every day in our own studios at LJS but I understand that they don’t regularly use butane torches and so were a bit wary!

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First live show

I was so lucky to have Natasha McCarty to work with as my first presenter on live TV. She had previously done a show with Jess and was excited about the silver clay. She really helped keep me at my ease and I so appreciated that as I was nervous. I did find that the time flew by and I quickly just got on with talking about the clay and doing the demonstration and forgot the five cameras that were pointing at me!

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Feedback and making new samples

After the first show I went back to the green room for tea and custard creams! The producer came down to talk to me and asked if we could change the second show slightly to get to the polishing of a piece earlier. I could understand why, it’s important for people who hadn’t seen it before to be able to see how the clay turns into silver and the firing and polishing is the magical part.

This did mean, however, that I had to quickly made some new samples for the later show. I did this and dried them on the top of the kettle!

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Final show

My final show of the day was with Andy Love. He had been on air during the previous hour so I didn’t get much time to talk to him before the show started but he was also great to work with. I did two torch firing demonstrations in this hour (I’m sure they loved that!), one demonstrating the basic kit and one showing the glass setting.

Then it was time to pack everything back up to get the train home.

It was a long, tiring day but I really enjoyed the experience and hopefully I will get a chance to do it again!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs