Have you ever heard of metal clay? I ask that of pretty much every person who walks through the doors of Heart and Stone. No is the answer I most often get and almost everyone is interested to hear more…It boggles my mind (how could so few have heard of metal clay?) but strengthens my resolve to create a space to teach, share and spread the word about this amazing new medium.
Metal Clay has not been around that long. It came to the US in 1996. It’s pretty amazing stuff! The short version is this: Silver or precious metal clay is fine particles of silver (think metal powder) mixed with an organic binder & water. You work with it like clay. You can roll it out, texture it, cut it, paste pieces together, and so much more. When you fire it in a kiln the binder burns off and you’re left with your silver piece. (or whatever metal clay you started with.) Fast forward to 2014 metal is now available in a sorts of base metal alloys; different colors of bronze, steel, copper.
Pure Silver aka Fine Silver, one of the precious metals, is by far the easiest to work with in terms of the firing process so even though it’s a bit pricey it is a great introduction to the world of metal clay. Working with metal clay is bit tricky at first until you learn the basics. Once you do you can really get creative! (check out our open studio option!)
I have been blown away by some of the work coming out of our Metal Clay Classes. The atmosphere in the studio when class is going on can be pretty electrifying. It’s one of my very favorite times at Heart and Stone whether I’m teaching or whether it’s one of our other great certified Metal Clay Instructors. (my other favorite time is designing custom charm necklaces one-on-one and in person! I’ve been doing it over the internet for so long now. It is so creatively freeing to be face-to-face.)
I just had the opportunity to work with a super fun girl scout troop. They wanted to have a metal clay party and make gifts for their troop leaders. They had been together as troop for several years and it was their last year together. The gifts had to be extra special and from the heart. It was A LOT of girls in a very short amount of time so we had to work fast!
Since I could not just give silver clay to 13 girls and have them go at it what would I do? I devised a particular project for them. The project was a layered, textured, initial pendant. They designed their own by choosing their textures, shapes and font styles. Other than that I gave them no parameters. What really blew me away was the creativity of the group as a whole. They are all so totally different. I love how they really thought outside the box in terms of shapes and placements of the initials. It was really fun to see their faces when they came to pick them up!
It went so well that I finally devised our Birthday Party Package for ages 10-13!
Thank you girl scout troop and everyone else who has ventured into our DIY Design Studio for Metal Clay! Your infectious creativity has inspired me to try new things and continue my mission to share this with others.
****Special Offer****When you sign up any Intro Class in June (metal clay 101 or 102) you’ll get a certificate for a free open studio when you arrive the day of class! Sign up now. Space is limited.