Learn the art of fine silver jewellery making, using the alchemy of silver clay, an eco-friendly and fun way to make silver jewellery. Take inspiration from the textures found in nature to make a beautiful and truly unique piece of jewellery.
With no more than four people per class, all skill levels are catered for, and you’ll get as much guidance as you need.
Silver clay is a relatively new product that can be worked like clay and yet is made of pure silver particles, with a binder and water. When it is fired the result is a pure silver piece which is of fine silver hallmark quality. This is a small and relaxed class held in Rebecca Oxenham's jewellery making studio. At the end of the day, you will celebrate with a glass of Prosecco or non-alcoholic alternative.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This course is suitable for learners with no previous knowledge of working with silver clay or those with experience with other forms of jewellery making. It is also suitable for those with no experience yet of crafts or creative activities. Most important is a desire to learn and experiment with the materials.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY
You’ll spend the morning learning about silver clay, designing your piece, texturing, filing and sanding then leaving it to dry, before eating your picnic. In the afternoon, you will fire your piece using a jewellers torch then sand, polish and finish it by attaching your fixings such as a chain or ear wires.
10.00 Arrival with tea or coffee we will introduce ourselves, discuss the itinerary and have a look and talk through the examples of jewellery that can be made.
10.30 Students are talked through the tools in the studio and told a bit about the history of silver clay, its eco-friendly properties, shrinkage and how it all works. The tutor demonstrates what to look for when creating replica leaf jewellery and which types of leaves are best and does a demonstration of how to create moulds of acorns or shells.
11.00 students then start working on their own designs, from rough sketching and making models before starting work crafting their own designs.
13.00 While the clay is drying students take a break to have a picnic either in the garden (weather permitting) or within the studio space. (There are nearby shops if students need to pop out).
14.00 Students learn to fire their pieces using a gas torch. This is the magical bit where the clay-like substance transforms to 99.9% fine silver. After firing, a wire brush is used to brush off the white clay binder residue revealing the solid fine silver beneath.
15.00 Students then finish their pieces to get the look they desire– if required applying a patina effect or polishing to a high shine. Students are shown how to attach their charms to ear wires or a chain or neck cord.
15.30 Students finish off with a glass of prosecco or non-alcoholic alternative while they admire everyone’s jewellery made in the class. Rebecca then explains how to care for the jewellery.
16.00 Students leave for the day.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
- A packed lunch and any extra drinks
- An apron if you have one
- Ideally closed-toe shoes
- Hairband (to tie hair back while firing)
- Facemask or visor (depending on the latest government guidance).
- Minimum age: 12 (under 18s must be accompanied by a participating adult)
- There is no wheelchair access to the workroom which is at the end of the garden
- There is parking on the road (if it gets busy there is also a car park close by on Manor Farm Road
ABOUT YOUR TUTOR - REBECCA OXENHAM
Rebecca works out of her studio at the end of her garden in Hampshire, England. The jewellery created is inspired by her passion for nature and she is committed to supporting biodiversity and protecting the environment. She uses recycled materials such as silver clay which is a 100% recycled product made from recycled silver which is ground up to a fine powder and mixed with a binder. When fired it becomes solid fine silver. Using recycled silver helps to limit the use of child labour in mines as well as the amount of metals that must be produced. This leads to less waste in landfills and helps to slow the consumption and deterioration of natural resources.
Rebecca studied at the Cornwall School for Art Craft and Jewellery for her Level One, Art Clay Diploma Certification in Silver Clay. This is a worldwide, recognised qualification, administered by the official distributors of Art Clay in Europe. She is also a member of AMCAW (Association of Metal Clay Artists Worldwide) and GOJD (Guild of Jewellery Designers).
The course is held at Rebecca's Garden Studio in Bitterne Park, Southampton. There is parking on the road (if it gets busy there is also a car park close by on Manor Farm Road (near the junction of Dimond Road and next to Riverside Park). Full joining instructions will be sent in advance of the course.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
What is included;
- 7g of silver clay (enough to make one or two pieces of jewellery)
- Findings for your pieces that you make (ie jump rings, wire for drop earrings, key ring fixings)
- A choice of a 16, or 18 inch silver chain, neck cord, earrings wires or non silver key ring fixings
- Fireable CZ gemstones if required for your design
- Use of all equipment needed in my studio to make your jewellery pieces
- Items found in nature such as shells or acorns that I have collected available in the studio or garden.
- A detailed instruction booklet (which you can take home)
- As much tea and coffee as you can drink
- A glass of bubbly or non alcoholic fizz to celebrate the day
6 hours (10:00am to 4:00pm)
This craft course provider has been awarded Silver status for receiving 5 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
6 hours (10:00am to 4:00pm)
Very enjoyable day and walked away with a beautiful item of jewellery ready to wear. Rebecca made us feel very welcome.
Response from Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery:Thank you very much for your lovely review and for coming to my workshop. Your shell necklace looks absolutely stunning. Wishing you all the best. Rebecca x
My daughter and I had an amazing jewellery making experience. Rebecca was a very good teacher and we came home with lovely silver items. Even a beginner can make very professional looking jewellery!
Response from Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery:Thank you so much for coming today and for such a lovely review. Your jewellery looks amazing! X
What a fantastic and amazing day with Rebecca! Learnt great new skills and came away with some beautiful items.
Can't wait to try at home and looking at what I can learn next! Highly recommend!
Response from Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery:Thank you so much for your review. The jewellery you made looked amazing. I am so glad I have inspired you to continue making jewellery using silver clay. Rebecca x
Wonderful! Great excuse for a mother and daughter weekend way, worth the trip down!
Brilliant quality of teaching and materials, lovely paced timing and relaxed environment.
I can guarantee you can walk away with a beautiful jewellery outcome, something I and my mum will get to treasure forever and wearable daily reminder of the memory. Over the moon from this experience as this was my first time working with silver and has given me the inspiration for future project possibilities.
Lovely, lovely time, thank you so much Rebecca!
Don't be shocked if we come again :)
Sinéad and Lucy x
Response from Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery:Thank you so much for your lovely review. Both your pieces looked amazing and I am so glad I have inspired you to make more jewellery. It would be lovely to see you both you and your mum again and spend the day making more jewellery - I also offer private workshops if you wanted one for just the two of you. Wishing you the best. x
Myself and my 2 friends attended this workshop, I can honestly say we all really enjoyed it, Rebecca is a remarkable teacher and had a very relaxed and attentive nature to us all. We all went home with our lovely silver clay handmade jewellery feeling extremely happy with what we had archived with Rebecca’s professional teaching.
100% I would love to do more jewellery making with Rebecca and so would my friends. Highly recommend.
Response from Rebecca Oxenham Jewellery:Thank you so much for your review. It was a pleasure teaching you and seeing the amazing jewellery you made.