Monday, 25 October 2010

Create & Craft Show Dates

It's a busy time for silver clay with so many new show dates for Create & Craft TV.

I've had the pleasure of working on many shows with presenter Leonie Pujol (above right), she's such a lovely, genuine person and a very talented crafter in her own right.

Here are the dates for my silver clay crafting shows between now and Christmas, do tune in for lots of tips and new projects:
  • Saturday 6th November - 10am
  • Sunday 21st November - 10am
  • Saturday 11th December - 12pm

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Silver Bracelet Photos

David'd been rather busy with jewellery and bead photography. Here are a couple of beautiful bracelets he's captured on camera.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

David's Jewellery Photography

Here are some beautiful images of some clients' jewellery David has been photographing recently. His jewellery photography service is becoming really popular and the process is very simple.

1. Call or e-mail us with your requirements

2. We'll book a slot in the diary for the photography

3. Post your pieces off to us by recorded/insured mail or courier

4. David takes the photographs & edits them

5. Your jewellery is returned to you within 48 hours of receipt along with a CD containing high resolution images of each piece of jewellery, he also includes a low resolution file of each image so you can use these for website & on-line work

It's that's simple and prices start from £5.00 per image. You own the rights to all the images and they are yours to use however you wish! For more information or to book a photography slot please call Natalia on 01422 241115 or 07775 932782 or e-mail us at

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Latest News

Well, it's been a long and not-so-hot summer and thankfully it's back to school for the kids and back to full steam ahead for Silver Clay Creations workshops.

We're delighted to start up our autumn schedule and rearing to go here!

The forthcoming dates of our are workshops are:

Introduction to Silver Clay:
  • Saturday 18th September
  • Saturday 23rd October
  • Saturday 13th November
Advanced Silver Clay
  • Saturday 2nd October
If you'd like to book a place on any of the workshops please visit our on-line shop here further further information.

Along with lunch, materials and 21gms of silver clay all workshops now include a 100-minute DVD with all the techniques shown during the workshop.

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop very soon!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Phillipa's Fabulous Textures

In silver clay artistry, experimenting is key if you really want to create unique and very individual pieces of jewellery.

Phillipa Fenny is a jewellery designer who attended both our introduction and advanced silver clay workshops and is a member of the Silver Clay Club. She creates some amazing jewellery designs using beads and silver clay under the brand name 'Purple Pickled Onions'. Here Phillipa shares with us a brand new technique she stumbled across purely by accident that produced some wonderful results!

"I had some lovely dicroic glass cabochons that I wanted to set into pendants and I wanted to try to make something different from my usual pieces of work. I had some new shape templates to try out so I decided that would be my starting point and would take it from there.

After cutting out my pendant shapes and setting the dichroic glass cabochons where I wanted them, I made the bails for each one out of a rope of clay coiled around a straw andpendant itself. I was pleased with what I had so far , but they were still lacking something....a texture.
I have loads of texture mats etc in my tool box but I'd got tired of using the same ones over and over again and it was whilst I was sanding them that a thought struck me......the cling film I'd used to keep my clay moist had dried bits of clay all over it that fell off in little flakes when I picked it up. I wondered if they could be used for adding texture to my sanded pieces. I then wondered about mixing these flakes with the sanding dust left on my board from sanding the pendants.

I wasn't sure how it would turn out but I gave it a go and mixed some of the flakes with sanding dust and sprinkled them on the part of the pendant I wanted them to stick to. They looked great once dried, but would it still look as good once fired or would they melt and go into a mass blob in the kiln ?...well here are the results see for yourself. I must admit I was pretty pleased with how they have turned out."

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Further Adventures in Silver Clay Now on Sale!

I'm so happy to tell you that our second DVD in the silver clay jewellery making series in now on sale. 'Further Adventures in Silver Clay' takes your skills to a whole new level. I demonstrate how to make eight brand new projects on this DVD, these range from two different types of rings, finger print keepsakes, setting cubic zirconia, making moulds and turning leaves into pure silver using art clay silver paste.
It has been a labour of total love and pure fun and I hope you will enjoy watching and expanding your jewellery making reportoire. You can buy our new DVD by visiting the on-line shop here.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

I'm running the Race for Life

Just a quick update to let you all know I'm going to be running The Race for Life on Saturday 3rd July at 10:30am.

I've been running around like a mad thing most mornings since the beginning of May to get myself fit for the day. I want to run the 5K in style, not as a sweaty wreck! (Although judging by the state of me when I come back from my runs, I'm not the athlete I thought I would become!)

Here's a link if you'd like to sponsor me. I will be very grateful if you do.

I'll let you know how I get on!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

New Silver Clay DVD 2nd in Series

Hi everyone, just getting back to blogging after being rushed off my feet with so many different projects.

It is with great pride I can report that the filming was completed yesterday on my brand new DVD 'Further Adventures in Silver Clay'. It's the perfect follow-up to DVD 1 'Silver Clay Made Simple'. I was so enthusiastic to include as many techniques as possible that poor old Tim Hollingworth (my brilliant camerman) was here until 10pm filming. David was operating camera number 2 in between soothing my troubled brow, setting up the artiness of each scene and making copious cups of tea. We all collapsed in a big, tired heap over pizzas, wine and beer at the end of a very productive day. Thank you so much guys you were brilliant!
Last night, as I went off to sleep I was worrying that we hadn't achieved enough, but with the blessing of a really deep sleep, I'm counting off the projects I completed on the DVD and there are 8 in total! So now everyone can learn step-by-step techniques such as painting leaves with silver paste, making a seamless band and wraparound ring, taking moulds and casting them in silver, setting cubic zirconia into wet and dry clay, making finger print keepsakes and decorating with syringe clay. It's all very exiting but my fingers are feeling a bit numb and my joints are aching from rolling, cutting, shaping, sanding and polishing so many different pieces. I'm looking forward to a very welcome day off on Saturday when I shall be putting my feet up and putting aside the silver clay...well just for one day!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Crafting Day - Saturday 12th June

I'm so excited to announce to everyone that I'm holding a fabulous Crafting Day on Saturday 12th June at the North Light Gallery, Huddersfield. It's a lovely venue just around the corner from my home and the perfect place to spend a wonderful day making things!

The day will consist of mini workshops run by myself and the very talented Debra Farrell from Magical Creations. You'll be able to attend mini workshops and learn the following skills:

Beautiful Shrink Plastic Jewellery; you'll learn how to make a stained glass-effect butterfly & poppy water colour pendant

The Secrets of Paintin
g on Glass; to create your own customised glass ornaments

Amazing Paper Crafting
; using cosmic shimmer embossing, stamping, faux cloisonne, fantasy fibre and alchohol inks!

The day will begin at 10:00am and end at 4:00pm, with breaks for tea, coffee and lunch. The cost to attend the day is just £35 which includes all materials, refreshments, lunch and you get to take home all the fabulous things you make.
You'll also get the chance to have taster sessions of other crafts such as silver clay jewellery making, beading and resin.

You can book your place by clicking here Mega Crafting Day

It promises to be a perfect day out and I'd love to see you all there if you can make it.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dressing Table Set

Just spent a hectic but very enjoyable day on Monday, producing our latest step-by-step project for Dolls House & Miniature Scene Magazine.

We thought the dollies need a nice little dressing table set and only the finest silver will do!

I got to experiment quite a lot with this project and loved the challenge. The perfume bottle was made by rolling a spinning top-shaped bead using the snake roller. I did exactly the same to create the little lid for it too. I got the mirror really shiny by using polishing papers on it whilst it was at the leather hard clay stage. I used an agate burnisher for a final polish once it had been fired and it is super shiny, you can really see your face in it!

Thank you to David for his patience as always in photographing every step and for his painstaking precision in making the pictures, pin-sharp and perfect in Photoshop!

My next project is a blanket box for the posh dolls. I haven't made a silver box for a while so I'm really looking forward to this.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Two New Products!!! Art clay Silver Lite & Glass Clay

I've just heard that there are two brand new products being launched that I'm sure we'll all want to know more about.

The first is Art clay Silver Lite. This is fine silver particles mixed with glass to make it 40% lighter than a comparable piece made with art clay. I would imagine it's great for larger pieces and as it's 93% silver instead of 99.9% then I'm expecting it will be cheaper too. The downside is it can only be kiln fired (750 degrees for 10 minutes) and is slightly weaker than Art Clay Silver. Watch this space until I find out more!

Glass clay is a clay-like substane that consists of fine glass powder and organic binders. It can be fired in a kiln and becomes solid glass. It sounds rather exciting to me and I shall be doing lots more investigating to see if it's a product that will work well in jewellery making.

I'm on the case readers so hope it's not too long before I can report back!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Debra's Shrink Plastic Leaves

I love my job! I get to sell 'stuff' then you gorgeous, clever people out there turn it into wonderful pieces of art.

Whenever I post out materials I've sold on the on-line shop, it's exciting to imagine them going off to blossom into some marvellous creation. What's even nicer is when you send me photos, so please keep doing this as I really love it!

The very talented Debra Farrell has made the most amazing leaves from shrink plastic and here she tells us how she did it:

"I used a Creative Expressions stamp in black, followed by Sakura gelly roll pens - the sparkle is fabulous and shows up much more after being shrunk. I tried the Cosmic Shimmer Paints but they fell off when shrinking! The secret with the pens is to use them like paints by overlapping sections - it doesn't look that great before you shrink but as you can see (and they look better in real life) once shrunk the effect is lovely"

We now have shrink plastic kits available on the on-line shop, complete with the glitter pens that will produce the beautiful effects on Debra's leaf so why not treat yourself?

You'll be hearing more about Debra very soon, she's incredibly creative and I know you will love learning from her so watch this space!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Lunchtime Crafting

Just a quick post to let you all know I'm on Create & Craft TV tomorrow at 12pm with the lovely Nigel May.

I'll be adding cubic zirconia to some teardrop shaped earrings to give them lots of bling, I'll also be showing everyone how to create silver shells using moulding putty. These are beautiful and made even lovelier due to the fact that I collected the shells from Llan Steffan beach in Wales. I spent a wonderful 3 days there cycling up and down the coast line with David, so they hold special memories for me that will be forever preserved in precious silver!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Inspired by Delightful Dragon Flies

The end of another Introduction to Silver Clay Workshop has me yet again pondering on how lovely my delegates are and how talented and creative they are too.

The lovely Sue was an expert sugar crafter and her cake decorating skills will certainly be a real asset as she starts her journey with silver clay.
Emma regaled us with tales of her dragon fly making and how she creates the wings. After a couple of hours she was cajoled into her car and arrived back in the workshop with one of her creations, which she very kindly gave me. Thank you Emma, it's nicely nestled amongst the valentines tree I made, that I can't just bear to take down yet.

Emma assured us it was easy to make her gorgeous dragon fly. This got me thinking how great it would be to have an 'open day' where previous crafty delegates can come along and share their skills. Emma is happy to come and show us her dragon fly so we can all take our own home with us (complete with Fantasy Film have to see this stuff it's brilliant!)

Sue would love to share her sugar paste techniques and how these can be transfered to making silver clay flowers. I'm itching to show off my paper beads and I know there are beaders, paper crafters, glass bead makers and other very clever people out there who could teach us a thing or two. So let me know if you'd like to be part of a crafty day like this. I'm happy to host it here at my home in Huddersfield or can find a suitable venue if there are too many to fit in my conservatory. If we all club together to cover the cost of materials and refreshments then it should be a really fun and very enriching day.

Let me know what you think, you can come along to learn or share and learn. the choice is yours, either way we'd be very happy to have you along.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Special Visits to Birmingham Assay Office

I was very interested to see that The Birmingham Assay Office is is uniquely opening its doors to the public and offering limited places on its popular Silver Collection Visits programme on three dates only.

Usually these visits are only available to organised groups, so this is a unique opportunity to see the spectacular Silver Collection, the Library, and to hear the Curator, Dr. Sally Baggott talk about the history of hallmarking and The Birmingham Assay Office.

If you want to see how hallmarking works, find out more about the costs, whys and wherefores then it's well worth taking a day out for a visit. The Assay Office is also located in the heart of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, offering you the chance to do some window shopping and get plenty of inspiration.

Visits will take place on Tuesday 6th April, Tuesday 6th July, and Tuesday 5th October, at The Birmingham Assay Office, with the option of a morning visit at 10.30am or an afternoon visit at 2.00pm. Places are limited to 25 for each of the visits, so early booking is advised. To book a place or for further information, call the Birmingham Assay Office on 0871 871 6020 or email A charge of £7.00 per head is payable in advance and non-refundable.

Silver Beads

If like me you end up with little bits of spare silver clay, I've found that there's only so much paste you can use. I prefer to turn these little odds and ends into silver beads and the process is really simple.
Roll the pieces into a ball and push them onto either a cocktail stick or a ballpoint pen refill. The latter makes the hole a little bigger and give you more options for using the bead afterwards.

You can decorate the bead at this point by adding a texture or using a cocktail stick to add little dimples to it, then leave to dry out. When dry, remove the bead from the cocktail stick or pen refill then sand and smooth any rough areas. Fire the bead and then either leave it with a brushed surface or polish it to a high shine. If you're using a tumbler to polish your bead, thread a piece of cord or ribbon through the hole first, otherwise the shot will compact itself in there nicely and you will struggle to get it out!

These beads are great for bookmarks or as embellishments for necklaces. What's nicest of all is knowing you made them yourself and you used every last bit of clay wisely.

Here's some I made earlier!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Top Tips From Cookson Gold

Some top tips I just picked up from Cookson Gold. Well worth bearing in mind:

"Those black emery boards sold in High Street chemists, such as Superdrug, can be used on small areas of jewellery. They can be customised to fit with scissors or a craft knife and bits cut off when worn out. They will last for ages.

Waterproof pens do not interfere with soldering, so they can be used to mark crosses or circles for locating parts to be added. They can also be used for colour coding solder strips.

To check that small objects are square, forget engineer's squares and go for graph paper. You will be much more accurate.

To divide a ring into four, fit it into the best match on a circle template from a stationery shop and use the four marks on the template. To find the centre of a disk, join the marks to make a cross."
Reply With Quote

Sunday, 7 March 2010

DVD Reviewed by Beads & Beyond Magazine

I was delighted that our Silver Clay Made Simple DVD was reviewed by Beads & Beyond magazine last month in their Spotlight section. The review was brilliant for us and very positive. I've also surveyed all my customers who have bought the DVD to find out what they liked about it and what improvements we can make for the next installment ' Further Adventures in Silver Clay'.

All the feedback has been immensely positive and consensus seems to be that the DVD is very thorough and carefully and simply presented and explained. This is exactly what I wanted to achieve as it's all too easy to use lots of jargon and get blinded with science (I've been on one or two silver clay workshops where I've been made to feel 2 feet tall by course tutors who like to believe they are the world expert and their way is the only way. I'm not sure how that can be as I'm learning something new about it every week). To me, teaching silver clay is all about showing people how to get the best from the clay, to understand how it reacts well and what can go wrong. Once you know these things, really magic can happen and I get most pleasure from seeing how creative everyone who uses it really can be.
My favourite quote from the survey was from Sally in Loughbrough who said "The DVD is brilliant and has led me to spend lots of money on silver clay. I've also recommended it to several strangers in craft shops" Thank you Sally, you really made my day!

Coffee with Liver of Sulphur a Match Made in Heaven!

We had a fabulous Introduction to Silver Clay workshop on Saturday 6th March. Thanks to all the lovely ladies who came along and brightened up my day, it was such fun to see you enjoying yourselves and making some gorgeous pieces.

We tested out Joy Funnell's advice about using coffee granules with hot water and a few drops of liver of sulphur and the results were amazing. We achieved a rainbow patina of reds and greens that was beautifully iridescent. I shall always use the coffee solution in future I was blown away by it. It's such a shame David wasn't there to take a photo, but I will do some more experimenting next week and get him to capture the results on camera.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Miniature Napkin Rings for Posh Dollies!

I write step-by-step projects for Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine and it's lovely to come up with new ideas each month for the dolls to have posh silver replicas! Here's a little sneak preview of my latest project, a set of miniature napkin rings.

These were created using the same principles for standard ring making, except instead of a mandral, I used the barrel of a ballpoint pen to wrap the clay around.
This makes them teeny tiny and then with the shrikage when they're fired gives you an adorable, petite set of rings. Don't you just love hunting out everyday objects to help with your silver creations!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

It's been such a hectic week here. I'm off for the rest of the week to do some work in Sheffield, London and then Create & Craft TV in Peterborough. I've had so much preparation to do for each piece of work, as each one is radically different, but I couldn't dash off without updating the blog.

David has taken some lovely photos of the shrink plastic jewellery I've been making for my first shrink plastic show on Create & Craft TV on Saturday (6th February). I'll be on at 10am and I'm praying that my plastic behaves itself and uncurls and flattens beautifully for live TV!

I hope you like some of the things I've been working's a special sneak preview just for you.

I shall be back next week to come up for air and start blogging again in earnest...and doing some much needed silver clay work again. Roll on Monday!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Inspiration from Joy Funnell

I wanted to say a big thank you to jewellery designer and teacher Joy Funnell who helped me out last week in getting hold of some urgently needed 7gm packs of clay. If you haven't seen Joy's blog then you really need to. She's a metal clay artisan extraordinaire and all round genius!

Looking at the examples of Joy's work really brightened up my day and I was amazed at her skill and the sheer beauty of her work. Please, please, please take a look at Joy's moonlit sea pendant on the blog and you'll be astounded at what can be achieved with liver of sulhpur. Here are a few tips from Joy about resourceful ways of getting more colour from liver of sulphur.

"You can mix your LOS with hot coffee instead of hot water. This brings up some really nice colours. Using Cola instead seems to work as well. Try putting your piece into clear hot water to stop the action instead of cold. Hot water tends to being up more in the red range. If you are patinating earrings bend a wire so it will hold both at once and dip together to get similar colours on each one."

Thank you for some great advice Joy, I shall be reading your blog avidly in future.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Shrink Plastic Preview

I've been working with a wonderful medium called shrink plastic and it's fair to say, I'm getting pretty hooked. I'd like to say it's new, but I remember making lots of charms and keyrings with this stuff when I was a little girl and baking them in the oven.

Shrink plastic makes fantastic jewellery, here are some examples of pieces I've done recently. I'll be running jewellery making with shrink plastic workshops very soon and I'll keep you posted with dates as soon as I have them. it's quick, simple, lots of fun and the possibilities are endless!

More Dates for Create & Craft TV!

Just wanted to let you know that I've booked some more dates in my diary for silver clay shows on Create & Craft TV.

You can watch me at 10am on Sunday 24th January and also on Saturday 6th February, when I'll be demonstrating some fingerprint keepsake jewellery.

Phillipa's Beautiful Shiny Things!

I had the pleasure of having Phillipa from the North East on my introduction and advanced silver clay workshops recently. She's sent me some images of lovely things she's made that I want to share with you all. I love both pieces because they have an Art Deco feel about them and it's my favourite era of art.

Absolutely adore your work Phillipa. Considering you've only been doing this since just before Christmas, you're an inspiration to everyone who's learning or thinking of taking the plungle into silver clay jewellery making.

I love to show off the beautiful designs my delegates have made so please send them in so we can put a little gallery on the blog.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Create & Craft TV

Just before Christmas we were delighted to secure a deal with home shopping channel Create & Craft TV to sell our silver clay products and DVD.

My first appearance as guest presenter happened today (Sunday 10th January) at 12pm and whilst I'd been looking forward to it immensely in the run up, today I was a bag of nerves!

Fortunately, I was working with a brilliant presenter, Nigel May, who made the whole show so fun and easy going, that within minutes I was right into the swing of things and really enjoying doing all my demonstrations. Create & Craft TV has so many viewers who make cards and scrap books that I decided to try and incorporate this into the examples I brought with me. So here are some pictures of some of the cards I created for the show. complete with silver clay embellishments. I hope you like them.

Thank you to all of you who tuned in and e-mailed and texted me after the show with your very kind feedback, your support helps me more than you'll ever know. Today has been such a great adventure, I can't wait until my next appearance!