Monday, August 22, 2011

Upcoming Metal Clay Classes

I'm excited to report that I have classes upcoming. Holly Gage has asked me to teach a couple of metal clay classes for the Greater Philadelphia Metal Clay Guild. Both of the two-day workshops involve combining other materials with metal clay. The dates are 14-15 and 16-17 of October, so they are just weeks away. If you live in the Philadelphia area or can visit the Northeast for a little fall weather (sounds good to this Texas girl on the 68th day of triple digits!), please contact Holly for more information.

In the glass class, we bring color to the world of metal clay with enamel painting. Using several types of enamel "ink" and "paint," we explore enameling on small slips of glass that can be set into various structures with a metal clay window. I've used this technique for pendants, bracelets, and rings, so the concept is pretty easily generalized. Previous students have really enjoyed drawing and painting on glass. It's fun and easy. Don't be intimidated if you don't draw or paint! I provide small drawings for copying, if you need a little inspiration. I also give a short drawing lesson, where I show you how to break images down to simple components -- circles, lines, curves, etc. You might be surprised at what you CAN draw! And there are a lot of other possibilities as well -- using a rubber stamp to print with enamel, for example. Of course, it is a metal clay class, so we build silver settings for the glass. Discussions include shrinkage, metal-glass reactions, prefired components, and a variety of embellishments from syringe to hand-forming.

The copper class focuses on adding color through enamel as well. We'll explore etching copper with a variety of resists to get your personal image onto the surface, cutting discs from sheet, and doming the discs. Then the color fun begins. I show how to apply enamels, how to use a torch or a kiln for firing the enamel, how to remove part of the enamel to reveal the raised areas of copper, and how to use color blending to get some beautiful shading in your enamels. Of course, mounting the enamels in metal clay is the ultimate goal, so we'll experiment with a ring setting. A variety of shank options are demonstrated -- wire, strap, and inserts. The setting options include bezels, tabs, and other cold connections. We will obviously also discuss shrinkage and sizing.

And in both workshops, I'll bring extra activities to jumpstart your artistic inspiration -- my ideas about creativity, originality, and personal voice. I hope you can join me!