Precious metal clay: setting stones
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VV616
Duration: 2 sessions
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What is the course about?
The course is designed for both the complete novice and the experienced jeweller, and offers the chance to explore the exciting possibilities of adding stones into metal clay (known by the brand names of PMC and Art Clay).
The course will begin with an introduction to the work area and the safe use of equipment. The tutor will demonstrate how to use metal clay effectively in jewellery design. Once the basic setting techniques have been covered, you will be encouraged to try the different methods of setting stones into the clay. This will be done sinking stones into the clay or making your own settings out of the clay. This will develop your ideas and designs by working directly with the metal clay.
What will we cover?
- How to set up a work area
- Basic tools and what they do
- The techniques of rolling, making holes, creating texture, firing, and polishing
- How to add stones to the clay using pre-cast settings and making settings out of clay
You will be encouraged to design and make several pieces in the practice medium of polymer clay, thus allowing you to develop and refine your ideas before making your designs in metal clay.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Recognise of the properties of the different types of metal clay, and how best to handle them
- use a range of equipment and tools to make a metal clay piece
- Fire a metal clay piece with a hand torch
- Use textures to create a design on metal clay
- Add stones using simple settings
- Sand and polish metal clay
- Consider design techniques suitable for metal clay.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels of ability, from beginners to experienced jewellers who want to incorporate metal clay with stones into their mainstream jewellery designs. The course will also appeal to bead makers and clay artists.
You must be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and be prepared to take part in group discussion. You should be happy using numbers and able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through demonstrations, practical work, advice and guidance. Examples of jewellery made from metal clay will be provided, as will technical notes when appropriate.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
General tools and equipment will be supplied, including polymer clay for practice pieces, 10g of metal clay and metal clay slip, and stones.
Please bring the following:
- An apron
- An empty film case or clean pill bottle
- Playing cards
- Note book and pencils etc.
- Cheap, fine-tipped paint brushes.
Optional extras (if you're feeling keen): clay shapers, badger balm, small biscuit cutters, items for texturing such as
leaf skeletons, lace or textured wallpaper, and any fired metal clay items you may have.
You may wish to purchase extra metal clay. You will be advised where you can find it on the first day of the course.
You are advised that sensible footwear must be worn in the studio. For health and safety reasons no sandals, open shoes or small pumps can be worn, even in hot weather.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Suitable follow-on courses may include:
VV702 - Introduction to jewellery making
VV491 - Jewellery making: 20 pieces in 5 days
Your tutor will be able to advise you during the course.