Make it: Silver Clay Jewellery Workshop

A bird and anchor Charm with Beads on a Pendant
As part of my (H's) Internship with the Make lounge I managed to squeeze in a workshop last week, which was the Silver Charm Bracelet and Pendant. We used Precious Metal Clay to make our own charms to use on our bracelet and pendant and here is how we did it!

You have to keep the precious metal clay wet as it is very much like normal clay up until the firing stage and so it is can become very brittle, otherwise it will dry out and become unusable.  So you should make sure you keep it wrapped up in cling film within a bag, and even perhaps another bag, just to make sure!

We then made our shapes for our charms using mini cutters or designing our own using a scalpel to make the shape.  Making sure to make the hole for the charm to be hung at this stage, otherwise you will not be able to later.  We formed the shape on an old tile so that it was easy for the clay to be moulded.

A Button, Man, Star, Bird and flower charm on a bracelet.
Then when you are ready you have to dry out the shapes, we used hair-dryers, for ease in the workshop space, but you can put them in the oven at home for about 10 minutes.  They have to be dry all the way through and so the shapes have to be quite thin (about 2-3mm thick) as otherwise when you go to the firing process they may break.  They are still really brittle at this stage and so be very careful when you smooth down the edges with a wet wipe.

Then off to the firing it is!  This invloves just a gas hob and you put the charms on a bit of gause on top of the flames and wait until the charms go white and put them in a bowl of water to cool.  The charms are now hard as nails and you sand then down with wire wool and metal sandpaper to smooth and the silver appears!  This stuff is magic and its one of the best things I have seen in a while.

A Teardrop charm and Beads on a pendant.
Unfortunately the last workshop of this kind is on Saturday and it is fully booked, but I would recommend keeping an eye out for workshops like this in your area as it was a really fun technique to learn.

Make it!