My first attempt with Precious Clay – I wanted something feminine and organic. In time I will make my own pearl and pin chain to go with this I think. A nice long length to hang between the breast.
Last Sunday I participated in my first metal clay class and now I'm a total addict. I have been wanting to give it a go ever since I heard about it over a year ago. I finally thought – to hell with the money I'll get something back that's worth it – so I took the plunge. Part of me wishes I hadn't as finacialy I simply cannot afford to throw myself into it and grow as I would like too. Don't get me wrong you can get a fair bit of jewellery made from a very small amount of precious clay, and you don't need a kiln when you first start out – but it takes practice to be good and stand out from a crowd of people doing the same thing.
Like most things I do – I hate the practice waste (not the practice just the physical material waste and dissatisfaction in not meeting expectations), I find it frustrating not being able to just be at the level where I feel an level of expertise and sell right off the bat, I just don't have the money to simply “practice” to get better. But I want too. I feel this is something I could become good at and really enjoy. It ticks so many artistic boxes for me. I get to draw and design – I get to sculpt in clay for testers and then in precious metal clay. I've so missed working in clay and sculpting – I also get to feed my new jewellery and bead fetishes. It's just so satisfying. I feel I could be really good at in in time.
There are sooo many pendants out there of similar design with similar textures and moulds and ideas. Art Clay has taken off so fast and is so accessible to people that anyone can do it, that's the good side; the down side is that the market is flooded with things that are the same. I don't want to start in that place. The artist in me resists using shop moulds and textures – to do similar designs as everyone else in the beginner faze. I want to design just as much as I want to create. I was the only person in my class that designed their piece from scratch and didn't take the easy road by doing a stamp, texture and mould pendant or earring that looked like everything else and everyone else work. What's the point of not challenging yourself when you can. I don't know if it's my artist arrogance, but I want people to look at something I did and say “I can see you in that”, Not something that looks like it's neighbour. I want individuality and artistic expression.
I had intended to take process photos but I got so involved that I forgot. The class was 7 hours long and we used every scrap of that time working. It was a fun environment with some lovely ladies and Emma
is a wonderful teacher. The classes where held in the wonderful Little Bead Shop
here in Edinburgh – My favorite bead store in town. If you live in Edinburgh and are interested in Metal Clay or beading – The shop offers a wealth of classes at reasonable prices with fantastic friendly staff and teachers. I highly recommend it.
This was my first experience with precious metal clay and It wasn't what I expected. I had worked in regular clay before and I love it – it's so silky and generous, sensual even. Metal Clay is very different. It's sticky and stiffer – it dries out fast and isn't as easy to work with. It looks easy, but in reality it takes practice to refine. It was a different experience to what I was expecting. It was harder then I had expected; but by no means less enjoyable. Most of the hands on work is in the dry stage. All the refining, defining and healing are done in this step. I loved this part – the gentle sanding and bringing the elegance into the basic design. I thought I would be more robust in my designs and tastes but it seems I'm very gurly – for me the clay lends itself to soft and feminine – beautiful organic shapes. I've been scribbling down ideas in a note book – more ideas then clay at the moment.
Liver of Sulphur is a silver clay artists best friend – the range of colour patina you can obtain is stunning – I however am extremely allergic to |Sulphur - Just breathing in the fumes closes up my breathing passages and swells me to a balloon till I Die lol – charming eh? I however do Not want to miss out on this process so I'm going to get a decent mask and go gun hoe. I will one day play in copper and bronze – but I need my own Kiln for that.
So that's my first experience with Precious Clay – Thoroughly loved it – Defiantly going to pursue it further. It's totally Addictive. If there is interest in this kinda thing, I might post my processes - successes and failures. It's not the usual thing that pops up on site, so I don't know if there is anyone interested.