Duration: 1 1/2 days
Day 1, Sept. 19: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Day 2, Sept. 20: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Become introduced to the properties of Metal Clay and the basics of how to form, fire and finish fine silver jewelry! This workshop is designed for the crafter, hobbyist, or professional potter or metalsmith who wants a quick introduction to Metal Clay. Students will leave the workshop with a minimum of 3 finished pieces of jewelry. Three projects (to be determined) will be demonstrated and coached by the instructor. Students may use any remaining time and material to create other projects of their choice. No prior experience is necessary!
The first day we will learn about the properties of Metal Clay and form and dry our pieces. The instructor will fire them over night. The second day involves polishing and patina and completion the jewelry.
Students will be provided with a detailed handout and 30 grams of Silver PMC3 to work with during the class, which is enough to complete the 3 small projects. Additional clay may be purchased on the day of class from the instructor. They will also be provided with earring findings and jump rings for pendants. Other tools and equipment necessary for completing the projects will be provided by the instructor for use during the class.
What is Metal Clay?
Metal clay is a revolutionary medium that challenges age-old thinking of how precious metals should be worked. It is a water-based material that consists of microscopic particles of silver, gold, or base metals (copper and bronze) suspended in a non-toxic, organic binder. There is actually no ceramic content (clay) in the material at all. It’s a putty-like mix that can be formed with hands and small tools in an endless variety of ways: pinch, extrude, join, roll or mold. Anything that can be done with clay can be done with metal clay. The piece is then dried and fired in a small jewelry kiln. The firing burns out the organic binder, leaving a pure metal piece. In the case of silver it becomes “fine” silver. Fine silver is 99.9% silver, while Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. After firing, the piece can be hammered, soldered, oxidized and/or polished as can be done with any other metal object.
Instructor: Zoe Nelson
Zoe Nelson has been making and selling jewelry of one kind or another for over 30 years. She discovered Silver Clay in 2000 after taking an introductory class. In 2002 she received a grant from the Regional Artists Association of Northwest North Carolina to buy her kiln and other necessary equipment. She continued to work in this medium on her own, as well as producing beaded and Sterling silver jewelry until 2006, when she completed the requirements for her first Certification in Metal Clay. In 2019 she completed the requirements to be a Certified PMC Instructor. She has taught through the Craft Enrichment Program at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax, VA and at the Florence Thomas Art School in West Jefferson, NC. She also holds private lessons in her home studio. Her work can be found in several galleries and shops across the southeast.
Updated Health & Safety Check-in Procedures