Sunday, 30 August 2009

Workshop work

Yesterday I ran an introduction to art clay silver for three participants here in my studio in Glaisdale. They all worked really hard and I think you will agree the results are impressive. I love the magic of introducing people to this medium and seeing the pleasure involved in making.
We had a fantastic day and all three of them went away with a selection of pendants, charms and beads. Thank you then to Suzanne, Vikki and Linda for a great day!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Earrings in new colours

Today I have been busy finishing off a selection of new earrings. These are in dyed anodised aluminium. I dye small sheets at a time and then file them away for use later on. I have cut and used a selection of pieces in blues and purples ready for the autumn and winter. They are incredibly lightweight and easy to wear.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I seem to have had a really busy couple of weeks, which must be a good thing but haven't really had much time for reflection. Monday I ran a class introducing a couple of students to the medium of enamel on art clay silver and here are the results. I think these are pretty amazing especially as I know that neither of them had done any enamelling before and one of them hadn't even used art clay silver. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and lovely to see them leave happily clutching their finished pieces of work.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Robert Dancik's Faux bone workshop

Last weekend I attended a workshop run by Robert Dancik working in the medium of Faux Bone. It was inspirational and I could immediately see ways of incorporating it into my current work.

The first two pictures are of the Robert and the class up in Edinburgh and of my first attempt at using the faux bone. I also did another small piece but haven't really finished either of them or made them into anything.

When I got back into my own studio I just had to have another go and went to my sketchbook looking at ideas for beads for my Inspired by Heritage project. Here you can see I have had a couple of attempts at making beads for one of my charm bracelets. I don't think they are quite 'there' yet but definately work in progress. I am really excited about the potential of this and think it will add another level of interest to my project. Robert is an inspiring teacher and I would recommend you try and get onto one of his courses if you can. He is running a faux bone workshop at the beginning of September at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I have travelled up to Edinburgh to take part in Robert Dancik's 'faux bone' workshop and have spent a day learning a little bit about this very interesting material. Under Robert's guidance we have sawn, filed, sanded, scraped, scratched and bent our pieces and some of the group have made really lovely things. As usual it will take me quite a bit of time to get to grips with this stuff but I think I can already see ways of using it within pieces of my work. I will try and post some pictures when I get home but still another full day to go!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Fold forming

Today my two students Pam and Glynis have successfully completed their level 1 certification course in Art Clay Silver. I had promised that if they finished in good time I would show them foldforming so here they are working away at two little pieces of copper and here are the results of all their hard labour hammering and annealing. I think it was a good way of releasing the tension of the sustained concentration of their course.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Fused glass

I am currently in the middle of running an Art Clay Silver Level 1 Certification course which is, of course, taking up most of my time. I have had a chance to set up and fire a piece of glass in May's big kiln though and here is the result. Although not a very inspired piece from a design point of view it has enabled me to check the firing temperature of the kiln and try out the new controller. I am not quite sure what to do with it now though.......

Saturday workshop

Sorry about the bit of a delay in posting! On Saturday I had a workshop in my studio for a couple who were interested in using beach glass. It was a really interesting day, I always enjoy trying to structure a workshop to fit in with someone else's work. We used a few bits of beach glass I had in a jar and pre-fired them in the kiln, then wrapped them in bits of damp tissue paper and built thin rolled pieces of art clay silver around them, firing them in the kiln at 650 degrees centigrade. Interesting to me as the two bits of glass looked the same before we fired them and the reaction with the silver changed the colour of one of the pieces. We also used some larger glass pieces and built rings with the main part of the shank in sterling silver and art clay silver prongs added on. These were fired without the glass and then the pieces assembled after firing. Impressive results for a first attempt I think?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Fun day at the museum

Yesterday I ran a workshop at Whitby Museum. They are always fun to do. I took the small group of participants around the museum looking at objects that had spiral patterns on them. I then showed them how to make a small brooch based on the Anglo Saxon ones in the museum collection and they each made on as an introduction to using pliers, cutters and copper wire. Then they all went off and had another look at some of the objects and made sketches and after lunch returned to make up their designs using a variety of thickesses of copper wire and beads.

I will be running similar workshops on the next two Thursdays. I will post some of the pictures of their work as a slideshow

Monday, 3 August 2009

Re-organising the studio

I have spent the last couple of days re-organising the studio. When I went to the Guild of Enamellers annual conference just after easter I collected a hydraulic press but decided not to assemble it until after the Open Studios. I finally got around to it this weekend and now it is safely bolted into position on the workbench and ready to use. Now I need to source some acrylic preferably from somewhere that can cut shapes.

I have also had an old kiln refurbished. This large kiln orig
inally belonged to the enameller May Yarker and I have just had it re-built by Corby Kilns

I am really looking forward to being able to make some larger enamels but will have to take a bit of time and care planning them as it would be a shame to waste such large pieces of copper. This kiln will take a panel approximately 30cm square but of course it does mean everything will be so much heavier to lift in and out. I have some of May's original tools and kilns supports and now just need to pluck up the courage to try it.