Friday, October 28, 2011

My Favorite Class Sample

Class samples are interesting things. They have to be simple enough that even beginners can make them (because there always seems to be someone new diving into metal clay). They also need to be interesting enough to not bore advanced students nor drive me crazy, as I need a new one every time to show construction techniques.

My Garden Windows Pendant workshop is all about painting on glass with vitreous enamels and then setting that glass into silver. Although there are many ways to mesh glass with silver, I demonstrate a sample that can incorporate a lot of techniques to increase complexity for those who want to push their skills, but can stay simple for the newbies.

nesting back
The last sample I made included a painting bird and nest with a lot of detail, although there’s a limit to the detail you can put onto a tile 5/8” x 1 1/4” in size. The flat window of this pendant is what makes it simple, but it can also seem limiting. Although I love a basic oval, and have many class samples with that shape, I encourage students to experiment with variations. A slight change in the outline makes the work more original and intriguing. This shield shape is my latest.