Argentium and metal clay are two novel metal materials that are perfect together! Learn the basics of both materials, and how to combine them to take advantage of the unique qualities of both.
Metal clay is a quick, direct method for building sculptural components or capturing complex textures in metal. Students will experiment with a variety of techniques to produce metal clay elements, while learning concepts that will allow them to build more complex structures and to personalize their jewelry designs. Argentium wire and sheet will then be used to build simple supporting structures that highlight the metal clay details.Student should expect to make a variety of metal clay components and then construct at least one pair of wire-based earrings as well as a more complex pendant, including a bezel set stone if desired.
This two day workshop includes one day to explore working with metal clay components that will be fired to use in the projects. The second day introduces Argentium and various simple ways to fabricate jewelry utilizing the metal clay elements. Beginners are welcome, and more advanced students are encouraged to work these principles into their personal repertoire.
Metal clay sculptural concepts to be covered include how to:
- work quickly and confidently with metal clay
- think about building complex shapes from simple forms with minimal tools
- specifically form the metal clay components shown in the samples
- view broken pieces as design opportunities
Argentium topics covered include:
- What makes Argentium different from regular sterling and why it’s perfect for combining with metal clay – FUSING instead of soldering, no fire scale so no nasty heavy acid pickle, MUCH easier to fuse than fine silver
- Working with Argentium - it’s different!! - judging temperature, avoiding fracture
- Annealing Argentium so that it’s super soft for forming into rings or other shapes
- Forming rings and fusing them closed
- Texturing Argentium wire (or sheet)
- Forming wire ovals or teardrops
- Forming granules
- Fusing pre-fired fine silver metal clay to Argentium