So you're desperate to have a go, got loads of ideas and maybe some gear - now what? We understand how early fails, being unsure of what to do, or worried you may damage something (or even worse, yourself) can stop you in your tracks. That's why we take you through, step-by-step, helping you to build and practise your skills.
Help when you need it
During this course you have direct access to Julie Holt & Helen Drye - we're both friendly, expert metal clay artisans and experienced Principle Instructors, and we want nothing more than for you to succeed! We have designed this course to ensure we are are available to you throughout, supporting and encouraging you every step of the way.
Never underestimate the power of a supportive peer group! Our virtual classroom approach enables you to make new friends from around the world. Imagine having your very own silver clay tribe, a group of like-minded friends cheering you on, celebrating, supporting and offering a virtual hug whenever you need one.
- Evenly roll, texture and cut-out shapes from metal clay
- Add hanging hanging holes and make cut-outs that are well finished and strong
- Create strong connections between layers of metal clay
- Add fireable cubic zircona (CZ) to your designs using push-in and bezel setting methods
- Use pre-made moulds to make pendants and charms
- Master snake-rolling to create even, crack free snakes
- Use air-drying to create intricate metal clay designs
- Plan and size a ring, allowing for clay shrinkage, so that it fits after firing
- Make metal clay rings strong enough for daily wear
- Master torch firing so you can confidently fire your designs at home
Plus basic jewellery making techniques that enable you to turn your metal clay creations into wearable jewellery!
This course has 6 lessons plus bonus materials, consisting of video tutorials and downloads, which are accessed here in Thinkific, our learning management system. It helps you work through the course, step-by-step, download notes, and repeat lessons if needed. These lessons are released weekly to ensure you aren't bombarded with information and we can support you, so you don’t have to be available at a specific time, you just pop in and out when YOU can, and go at your own pace. And all our courses come with a lifetime access guarantee, so do the course as many times as you like and benefit from updates as they are published - all for one enrolment fee.
We also have a Facebook page for general information and sharing - click here to follow us. In addition each course has a dedicated Facebook group for additional support and you'll be invited to join it when you enrol on a course. Here you can ask the tutor specific questions, connect with a community of people doing the same work as you and build friendships. We do live demonstrations here too, great for any tricky areas where you need some additional support, and they are always available in the group so that you can look at them again and again, at any time.
Finally, we hold regular meetings via Zoom. These help us all keep in touch and enable you to ask questions and share experiences. Whilst these sessions are held at a specified time and we recommend students join in person, we understand this isn't always possible so they are recorded and the video loaded into the Facebook group so that you can view it there if you miss it.
- Work with combustible materials, for example leaves, seed pods and paper
- Make unique moulds
- Set fireable gemstones using simple bezels and design elements
- Use PMC paste to create strong, durable designs
- Work with bought textures and what to consider when choosing between low and high relief textures
- Add tube and fancy bails to your designs
- Correctly size and make a strong, textured band ring
- Use PMC lump form with moulds
- Form strong joins between multiple pieces of dry silver clay
- Incorporate glass into your designs
- Make dry construction designs
- Correctly size and make a designer toggle clasp
- Carve silver clay
- Understand sintering and the effect of various firing shcedules
- Work with PMC3/Flex in lump and paste forms
- Refine your designs and prepare them for firing
- Finish your designs to a high standard
The above techniques are taught via the following learning projects, for which you have complete design freedom:
1) Moulded pendant with a fireable gemstone
2) Naturally formed pendant, charm or bead
3) Domed (lentil) bead
4) Designer toggle clasp
5) Textured band ring
6) Dichroic glass pendant
To complete this module you will need the following supplies:
- 2 x PMC3 or PMC Flex 15g (clay weight 16.7g)
- 2 x PMC3 or PMC Flex 5g (clay weight 5.6g)
- 1 x pot of PMC3 paste (clay weight 18.6g)
How much experience do I need to do this course?
None is the short answer! If you've done some online tutorials or perhaps a Taster or Introductory course, that's a great start, however we cover off all the absolute basics at the beginning, so you'll be fine whatever your starting point.
What metal clay will I work with?
We recommend working with a torch-fireable Fine Silver clay such as PMC, however all the projects are possible in any metal clay
What tools & materials do I need?
In terms of equipment, you'll need a metal clay student kit, ring making kit and hand torch and block. Course materials are 50g clay and 1 x 5mm and 1 x 3mm fireable CZ. To make your designs into wearable jewellery you'll need a set of jewellery making pliers, along with a selection of pre-made chains, beads and jewellery findings. We provide links to all off these items to help you source what you need, and are also happy to advise - just ask! In addition, we offer student discounts for enrolled students, ranging from 10% on clay to 30% on tool kits.
I need lots of time to order materials at the moment – how will that work?
Before the course starts we will give you a tool and materials list so that you can order supplies as soon as possible. If there are specific suppliers, we will direct you to them.
How much time will we need to complete the course?
You can expect to spend on average 4-5 hours per week. This course takes 12 hours in class, however at home you have more time available and we've found our students tend to enjoy the luxury of more time and working at their own pace as they complete the lessons and projects . It takes 6 weeks in total to work through this course.
Do I need a kiln?
All projects in this course are torch-fireable, however some clays must be kiln-fired, so that will depend on what you choose to work with
How will I get my certificate?
You will be able to download your certificate on successful completion of the course
What if I change my mind?
You can book your place now, and have a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period during which you can cancel your enrolment, no questions asked. After this and once you have started the course, regretfully we would not be able to refund any fees paid. We are very flexible and absolutely understand that sometimes life gets in the way, so are happy for you to defer the course until you are ready to take it in this instance.
What if I need extra one to one support?
You get loads of instructor support when on the course, however if you feel you need extra one-to-one support at any time, you can purchase sessions just for you to go through lessons, trouble shoot, have demonstrations, and ask questions. These are an additional cost of £15 per 15-minute slot. To be honest, no-one has needed it yet, but it's always nice to have the option if you would like it