About Metal Clay: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper.
Metal Clays have revolutionized the jewellery-making process. These materials are initially as soft as clay. After they are fired, however, they become pieces of 99.9 % pure silver, 22 karat gold, bronze or copper. The speed and creative options presented by metal clay have captivated a large international following of both jewellery artists and industry professionals. JDMIS maintains an excellent relationship with the manufacturers of these amazing products and exclusively offers its students the most up-to-date techniques regarding their use.
The use of Metal Clay is both an art and a science, allowing students to focus on creative expression instead of outdated techniques and expensive tools. In all of our metal clay jewellery classes, students are given instruction and then, with the teacher’s advice and guidance, immediately begin to design and create.
Begin your journey as a precious metal artist with the latest technology in hand fabrication: Powder metallurgy. Form ‘metal clay’ to create pure silver jewellery such as rings, pendants, earrings and brooches. Learn and perfect a variety of modelling methods, various gemstone setting techniques and, after firing, traditional and non-traditional jewellery finishing techniques to create spectacular silver jewellery. The programme consists of nine projects divided over six days and a final day of finishing and assessment.
1. Introduction to Powder Metallurgy
Understand the varieties of metal clay available; learn about firing alternatives and special techniques for modelling with each. With fun pendant(s) as your first project, you will learn about working with the clay types, keeping your projects malleable, creating shapes and joining metal clay pieces to form solid metal parts. Your first projects are fired on a gas-stove, ensuring you are comfortable when working from home.
2. Freeform Ring and professional Gemstone Setting
Learn how to use gemstone heads to securely set gemstones using prongs in any design. Learn the precise measurements needed to produce custom-fit rings and explore additional finishing options. Your second project involves more accuracy, ensuring proper fit, and provides more opportunities to practice finishing techniques.
3. Syringed Techniques and Bezel Setting
This class teaches the many uses of the syringe-type metal clay to produce larger but light weight creations. The syringe allows greater accuracy in directing the design into more intricate patterns. An interesting and useful bezel-style stone setting technique is incorporated into your third project to add colour and interest.
4. Natural Paste-type Creation
Paste-type metal clay is ideal for recording the patterns and beauty of leaves and other fine objects. Techniques to highlight these graceful impressions using paste-type materials include pendants, bracelets and chains. After leaning techniques for firing in a kiln, your fourth project can be finished using matte or shiny finishes or a combination of both.
5. Hollow Syringe Designs
By forming basic shapes in a material called 'Cork' clay which burns at a lower temperature than the metal clay we can achieve wonderful, large-but-light designer jewellery. This addictive technique allows you to produce stunning one-of-kind centrepieces and your fifth project will leave others wondering just how it could have been manufactured.
6. Sculptural Techniques
Brooches are very popular in this part of the world. Learn how to combine clay and paste types of metal clay to produce more vibrant and 3-dimentional designs experimenting with shape and textures formed by a useful 'build-up' technique. Your sixth project will include additional stone setting skills and attachment to fine silver findings.
7. Combining Clay and Syringe Types
Further refine your skills at making accurate, perfectly-sized rings and learn to combine clay and syringe metal clay types to create unique, refined filigree patterns or reliefs. Your seventh project with inspire you to create detail and beauty on any surface and fire these designs into solid, lasting pieces of quality jewellery.
8. Pearl-set Ring Design
Instead of working with pre-fabricated syringe-type metal clay, learn the steps to prepare your own custom syringes and custom tips that allow exciting extrusion patterns that form the basis of your eighth project. Add a touch of elegance to this project by permanently setting a half-drilled cultured pearl using professional technique.
9. Sulphurising and Patina Techniques
Enhance your designs with an antiqued look or create modern, geometric and high-contrast pieces. Go beyond basic techniques, learning how to work with large and small designs, how to extend the life of your sulphurising compound, and ideal temperatures, timings and tips for creating even patinas with different tones.
10. Silver Finishing Techniques
Raise the production quality of your pieces to a new level, beyond that which is common in the market today. Perfect your techniques with ultra smooth, mirror or evenly brushed finishes.
Participants receive over a hundred grams of pure silver (and over 300 grams of Copper, Silver and Gold as they progress through all 4 of our Powder Metallurgy certifications), gemstones and a full-set of tools.
Like all JDMIS courses, students receive everything they need to complete all their coursework. This course includes all the tools and reference and jewellery fabrication materials needed in order to immediately start producing their very own pieces of jewellery.
This course offers a practical hands-on experience. At the end of the workshop, participants will have produced one or more pieces of jewellery.
Next Steps (Powder Metallurgy Specialisation):
NM200 - New Metal Technology 2: Sculptural Design with Mixed Media
Next Steps (Complementary Metal Arts Specialisation):
MS100 - Traditional Metalsmithing 1: Foundation Metalwork Skills and Experience
Participants attending and completing this programme as a stand-alone certification can choose to enroll for the Precious Metal Arts Diploma.
1 week (Full-time), or
5 weeks (Part-time)
JDMIS runs week-day, weekend and weeknight courses for this popular course. JDMIS also has flexible make-up schedules and graduates can return without cost for refresher courses (subject to availability).
Course fee is inclusive of GST as well as all tools and materials provided during the course.