Metal clay is amazing - it starts as clay, but fires into pure silver. You can form it with simple tools, even set stones in it, and fire it with a butane cooking torch or small kiln. When fired, the clay-like binders burn off as the pure silver molecules fuse together.
This class is designed for both beginning students and those seeking to refresh skills and learn new ones. During this in-depth orientation to Metal Clay students will create a pendant and a pair of earrings.. The initial project provides a foundation for learning thickness, roll out, texture, and carving techniques.
Beyond the basic skills required for this project, more advanced techniques will be taught including: Fold forming moistened clay, setting small cabochon and faceted stones, drying, firing with torch and kiln, final finishing and polishing, repairs before and after firing.
Students will learn to fire their projects with a butane torch – safe to do at home and if preferable a kiln. Safety precautions and set up will be reviewed. After firing manual polishing and finishing will be taught. If on-line students prefer, they can deliver or mail their pieces to the school for kiln firing and/or rotary polishing with a tumbler. They will be available for pick up- or return shipping after completion. Instructions for mailing the project will be provided.
- how to choose and condition metal clay
- basic metal clay fabrication techniques
- setting and firing stones in metal clay
- torch firing metal clay
- kiln firing metal clay
- stone setting 4 mm cabochons and faceted stones
- texture, fold forming and carving techniques
- repairs and troubleshooting
- polishing after firing
This course is available as an in-person workshop or live online class. Please check this page for times and formats available.
A kit of materials is included with this class.
Online students will have kits mailed to them. Kits for in-person students are delivered at the beginning of the first class.
Recordings of class.
If a class is online, or is a combination online and in-person session, all students receive a link to a recording of the class demonstrations. In-person only workshops are not recorded.
A full color handout is included with the class.
Create your own workbook with the beautiful handout that is downloadable for this workshop (in person students receive a printout of their handout on the first day of class). Handouts include instructions for techniques and projects, reference charts and lots of information to support your learning.
Classes at our school include use of tools, with each student having their own bench to use during class. Online students will need to have their own tools (see the list of tools below). Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Tools Required for Online Students
This is a list of tools online students need to practice the techniques shown in class, including basic tools for metal clay. (in-person students have tools to use at school).
A list of tools with links to recommended suppliers for the best prices will be sent to you after registration. If you have questions about the tool list, please contact us.
- Fine Point Paint brush
- Flat-end Paint brush
- Fiber Brick
- Butane Torch
- Butane fuel
- Non-stick work surface
- Snake Roller
- Acrylic Roller
- Scraper cutter
- Short Bristle Steel Brush
- Acrylic work surface
- Needle tool
- Set of Files
- Airtight container for clay
- Texture mat
- Burnishing tool
- 3 pairs eye wires
- Hot plate or cup warmer, or hair dryer.
- Deck of playing cards
- Brownie baking pan
- Emory board (nail files)
- Metric ruler
- Olive oil
- Bamboo skewer stick
- Tooth picks
A computer, phone or tablet to use the free Zoom app for class
About Our Interactive Online Classes
If this class is offered online, it uses the Zoom app/website. Through Zoom, you’ll be able to see demos and follow instructions, ask questions and interact with your instructor. Zoom is easy to use and free for students to use for class, and works on most devices, like phones (iPhone, Android, etc), tablets (iPads, etc), and computers (Mac or PC).
Your instructor is also available during free Zoom office hours for questions and help.
Online students work at home or in their studio. All of our recommended tools and the kit materials are chosen to be home studio friendly. Links to preferred vendors are provided in the supplies list sent after registration.
Read what students have to say about our online classes on the testimonials page.
Class policies for refunds, transfers and cancelations.
Please review our COVID-19 guidelines for in-person students.
For the health and safety our staff and students, students are required to show proof of vaccination and to wear masks when attending classes at our school. If you can’t meet these requirements, we invite you to take the online version of this class instead, if available. Please visit our COVID-19 Updates page for more information.
No prior experience required, beginners welcome!
Location: Silvera Jewelry School, Berkeley, CA