|Hadar's Clay - my pre-workshop necklace|
February means Tucson! It’s the Gem Show and The Bead Show with warmer weather than Prescott! This year I started with a 3 day intensive class with Hadar Jacobson. Twelve artists met at Lyle Rayfield’s studio in the beautiful Tucson Mountains to learn how to make architectural style jewelry using Hadar’s clay.
As a member of a Face Book group, I’ve been reading for quite a while of artist’s challenges occurring in the process of sintering (when clay becomes metal), firing, etc. I was totally intimidated. Intimidation is not a state I’m comfortable with but I continued to delay using the clay myself. One day I received an email and phone call from my good friend, Lyle, who also certified me in Art Clay. Lyle wanted to invite Hadar to teach ‘Pictorial and Architectural Jewelry’ and needed attendees. I whined a little and said, “OK. I guess it is time to tackle this.” I sent my money and got busy! Several samples of clay (steel, bronze, copper) came in the mail. My first projects were in rose bronze and copper.
For those of you not familiar with Hadar’s Clay, it is a powder that when mixed with the correct amount of water, becomes clay. The best way to explain metal clay is to picture nano (extremely small) particles of metal mixed with a binder. When water is added, clay forms. We make the piece of jewelry and fire it. The high heat used in the firing burns the binder and fuses the nano particles of metal. Hadar’s clay often requires two phases of firing (depending on the metal and firing temp range). She has just updated her manual so you might like to check it out at www.artinsilver.com
|Hadar's Copper Clay in the bottle and formed into pieces ready to fire|
|Copper pieces fired|
|One of the fired pieces in a necklace|
By the time I arrived at class, I was comfortable with the mixing and handling of the clay and I had fired a few of my pieces in my kiln.
By the end of the 3rd class day, I was no longer intimidated! Hadar was an excellent teacher showing many techniques and her explanations were great. When someone asked her about cracks or repairs, her answer put my fears in perspective. “We are working with clay and there will be some cracks and some pieces not sintering. They are easily repaired. That is just part of the process.” Ok. So I relaxed. She showed how to repair pieces and made us comfortable with that process.
|Hadar's Work - Examples for Class!|
As I look back on those three days, I realize how important it is to understand processes and the reasons for them. I am reminded once again that what I fear and the stories I make up about those fears are so much worse than the reality. It’s a lesson I keep learning!
Next post will be about the pieces I made in the class. Check back for more!