Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Archive for January, 2018

SSmSmS: Studio Sessions (mostly) Second (mostly) Saturdays!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2018/01/13

Happy Winter!  Happy New Year!  Happy Second Saturday!

This is now the fourth of what has become a pattern: spending the Second Saturday of each month in my Studio. I’ve been considering whether to continue the pattern, at least for a while, and make it a more-or-less recurring event.

So, if you’d like to join me for a Studio Session on a Second Saturday in the future, please let me know! At this point, I do not plan to offer actual classes then but will open my studio to others for a small fee: If you already have some clue what you’re doing with metal clay, you’re welcome to just come over and use the facilities in my studio! I will plan to get some of my own making-work done those days too, and we can chat about it as we go. I will have a bit of clay available for purchase too: I don’t promise to maintain a complete stock of every variety, however, so if you want to purchase a particular one, do check with me in advance. (I can get most of them with a week’s notice; if you ask later, however, we may have to add your express shipping fee to what I’d normally charge.)

Since there is a certain amount of clean-up involved in switching between precious and base metal clays, on many Saturdays I am likely to restrict things to precious (silver) metals only. If there is enough interest in base metals, however, I’m happy to occasionally set a session specifically for those instead.

Note that I am qualifying this: I’m not really calling it SSSS, for Studio Sessions every Second Saturday. I’m thinking more along the lines of SSmSmS: Studio Sessions, mostly on a Saturday, and mostly on the Second one of the month.

I may have to shift a few of them to the Friday. (If Friday would, in general, be better for you, let me know. Most months I should be able to accommodate that!) Or maybe the subsequent Sunday. In the occasional months where the second Friday is ajacent to the Third Saturday, I may switch my in-studio time for one or the other so they are consecutive days.

I’ll try to remember to post date and time details each month as an event on the Convergent Series page on Facebook, at this link.

Why didn’t I post earlier about today? Well, I had already agreed to let a few folks come over and use my studio! Space is limited, so please PM me if you want to come in future months.


FYI, here’s one of the things I worked on today: adding bezel cups to a lentil bead. I’d taught a workshop on using fine silver metal clay to make lentil beads last month, at the Appalachian Rock Shop & Jewelry Emporium in Harmony, PA, and made this bead as part of my demonstration. I hadn’t added any embellishments to this particular bead, but fired it along with all the class pieces anyway, despite knowing it needed something! How about a gemstone? Which stone: either this sunstone or the sapphire would look nice with the texture I’d used. Which side: each one has an area where a little stone would fit. Hey, why not put one on each side?!! So I used PMC3 paste supplemented with a few drops of lavender oil to add a bezel cup to each side. And fired it today while working on other projects. This photo shows how I propped it up as the paste on both sides dried, along with the sunstone and sapphire I’ll add after I’m done with patina and polish:

ProjectSample_LentilBead_addingBezelCups_6046

As a teacher of metal clay techniques and processes, there is one thing I particularly like about that photo! Notice how the bead, having been fully sintered in a previous firing, has a sort of matte-white look, while the bezel cups, made from fine silver sheet metal, look more shiny like we typically imagine silver to be. Well, it is all fine silver. The “white” look is just a result of the way the silver crystals form as the powdered-metal pieces in the clay sinter into the solid-metal final form. (It is NOT, as some novices assume, some sort of outer crust that needs to be removed. It IS silver that we want to keep!) With polishing, the invisible-to-naked-eye peaks in the silver crystals will all get pushed over in one direction, and only then will we be able to see the shine that we normally associate with silver. I’ll try to remember to post a picture of this piece once I’ve finished it. (Though I have several others I must finish first….so this one may have to wait until my next Second Saturday Studio Session, in February…!)

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