What is Metal Clay?
Metal clay was invented in Japan in the 1990’s and soon took off as a very approachable material for anyone to make into solid metal jewellery or other items. Silver and gold clay were the first to be launched and once they could be torch fired, they really became popular with home jewellery makers.
Easy to work with
The tools required to create jewellery or sculpture with metal clay are very simple. Most people who do any sort of craft have these tools already. It’s quick and easy to set up your workstation, you can pack it into a small box so it’s perfect if you are working at home in your kitchen.
Silver metal clay has three ingredients. Fine silver particles which are reclaimed from various other processes – so it’s a completely recycled product. An organic binder holds the silver particles together and water makes it soft and malleable. That’s it!
Fire with a torch
Once the jewellery piece is dry and finished, it’s ready to be fired. It can be fired in a kiln but the fine silver varieties can also be fired with a simple butane torch. That’s right, the type you use for Crème brûlée!
On our beginner level and taster classes, Julia teaches you how to fire your jewellery with a butane torch so you can go home with the confidence to make your own pieces from start to finish straight away.
People are often sceptical about whether metal clay actually results in real silver, gold etc. It just seems too good to be true – like alchemy.
There are many types of metal clay available including Sterling silver clay, 22ct gold clay, bronze, copper, steel and iron clay – all real metal.
On the beginner level and taster classes, you will learn to work with fine silver clay. This results in solid silver jewellery that is hallmark quality.
Our principle tutor Julia Rai has been a passionate advocate of metal clay for over 15 years and has taught hundreds of people how to work with this magical material. She’s even written a book about working with metal clay.
Known world-wide in the metal clay community, she is also approachable and supportive of both new comers and experienced metal clay students.
Don’t take our word for it though, see what some of our students say about taking a metal clay taster class with Julia.