Making a Textured Silver Pendant using Silver Clay. | Theodora Gould | Skillshare

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Making a Textured Silver Pendant using Silver Clay.

teacher avatar Theodora Gould, The Carpenter's Wife.

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What Is Silver Clay


    • 3.

      Tools & Materials


    • 4.

      Practice Run


    • 5.

      The Wet Clay Stage


    • 6.

      Drying Your Clay


    • 7.

      The Dry Clay Stage


    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.

      Jump Ring & Chain


    • 11.

      Class Project


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About This Class

In this class I will teach you to make a simple but pretty, solid silver pendant using a fraction of the tools required for traditional silversmithing.

You will learn what silver clay is, how it works and the skills required to make a piece if jewellery you can cherish forever.

Step by step I will show you how to form the clay, apply a pattern, dry it, refine it, fire it and finish it.

Once you have these skills you will be able to go on and experiment to create more pieces.  No prior experience is needed and it can be done at your kitchen table.

This class is suitable for magpies and lovers of shiny things.

I will be creating further more advanced classes but this is a useful one for gaining the basic skills and an understanding of Silver Clay.

Meet Your Teacher

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Theodora Gould

The Carpenter's Wife.


Hello and welcome to my Skillshare profile. I'm Theodora, or Thea for short and I'm an artist and silversmith living in a rural part of England. I love the country life and it's the perfect place to nurture my little family.

Originally trained as an antique restorer, I have a passion for old things and spent a large chunk of my life up-cycling furniture. I started making jewellery when I was pregnant with my son via a silver clay course, and in the last few years have re-discovered the joy of painting (both traditionally and digitally).

However I love all forms of art and love to try new things, which is how I stumbled across Skillshare. I don't believe in limiting yourself to one art form, so one day I might be making jewellery, another painting, practising calligraphy, l... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello on Welcome to my class on making a textured pendant out of silver clay. My name's Theodora. Andi. I am a jewelry designer, a maker and artist. I live in a rural part of England. I've bean making jewelry for about five years, mainly using traditional silversmith ing to techniques. But it was still the clay that got me started on the journey, and I'd love to inspire some other people to get going with its magical stuff. You need a fraction of the tools that you need for traditional. Zil was missing, and it's a lot of fun. So in the class, I'll start off. First class will be just explaining what Silver clay is showing you the play, trying to give you an impression of what it feels like to work with it. Move on to the tools and materials needed. Most of the tools, the things that you can find around the house. There are some things that you need to buy, but I talk you through everything, and also I put a list in the class notes so you can have a look through on wherever possible. Put links of where to buy it now Obviously, I'm in the UK You might not be. So, um, I might not know where you combine in your country, But you know what to do that. At least, um Then we'll do a practice run. So whenever I'm working with silver Clay, I like Teoh. Just do a trial run. Just so I have an idea. But what I'm working towards and what what I want dependent Teoh looked like at the end. Then then we'll get started with silver play, which is very exciting. I show you how to roll it out, but the texture on cut it, dry it small section on drying it. Then we'll need to refine it to say, Send it down, drill a little hole, your jump bring. Then the next class will be where we set fire to it, which is always a bit scary, but it's an amazing process on. I'll talk you through it, step by step, and I will show you on a practice piece of Kayal the different stages that this play goes through as it's being fired on. Then once we've got, um, still dependent, I'll show you how Teoh polish it up, make it nice and shiny. Um, Andi? Yeah. And then how to attach it to a chain so that you have something that you can wear and treasure forever. Something that you've made with your own hands, which is very exciting. Um, class project. I would love you to share your finished a picture of your finished dependent if you've got questions as we go through the classes and please feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to help, but also, even if you don't have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. So just put a comment and say hello. Tell me where you're from. Um, yeah. So I think that's kind of it. If you want to find out a bit more about me, you can find me on instagram at theodora dot gold. That's where I hang out most of the time. Um yeah, se, Let's get started 2. What Is Silver Clay: I thought a good idea first for before we start anything just to show you the silver clay on bond, what it looks like and give you an idea of how it feels. So this is art play silver. There are different types of silver play. Uh, but this one, which is 99.9% silver, could be fired with a blow torch. So this is one I've already got that it comes a little bag and then inside that you'll have a couple of packets, depending on grams that you buy. I tend to buy 50 grams at a time, but, um, you probably but you won't need more than 20 grand bag for this project. So then it comes in the silver packet, you tear that and then inside you got a little bit of silver play, which is wrapped up in a piece of plastic. I'm not gonna open that one because I've got plenty in here to show you. So I keep my silver play wrapped in a damp tissue which every now and again I fricks bit of water And within that I have a piece of film. My piece of silver play inside. If you're gonna work with that, it's a good idea to put a bit of the batch Obama. Bit of lubricant on your fingers. You can use olive oil. I find this sort of tends to work better. This stops it sticking to your fingers. So this is the silver clay s you can see. It's lovely and soft on a very like Potter's clay, um, so you can shape it, roll it, do all sorts of lovely things with it, and that's it that is going to make her magic pendant so again, storing it. To put it in a piece of cling. Film can be an idea. You have to do it every time. But every now and again, just give a tiny little spritz of water not too much. You don't want to open it up and find that you've got running sloppy play and then making people twist it so good. It's airtight. Roll it up, Vigneault Dump tissue paper damp, no wet. I fold over the ends, and then I put it back into the fact that it came in. And then I store all of my play in one of these little Tupperware boxes. Put it in there just to make sure everything is air tight as possible. Okay, so once you've rolled and shaped your clay, which I'll show you in the next lesson, you need to dry it out. When it's dried out, It looks slightly like this. Now, this is just a scrap piece that I have lying around, so I don't mind doing this with it. You see, it's quite fragile. So you have to be quite careful with it while you're working with it that this can be sanded and shaped and carved until you've got your final design. And once you've got your final design you're happy with, then I will show you how to fire it, which will turn it into something like this. Now, this isn't necessarily the design. McGinnity. This is just one of the pieces of jewelry that I sell. Um, but you can see it's beautiful silver pendant, but this one's being fired and polished, but it really is magical stuff. So you do you get, um, a bit of shrinkage. So that waas that circle that circle was bats at that size. Once you get about 10% shrinkage because asked the particles asi fire it. You burn off the buying to say the particles are all moving place together She's called centering, so you end up with something like that. 3. Tools & Materials: way have all the tools that are going to need to make dependent. I will put a list in the class notes of everything and where possible, wear to buy it. You're going to need to find something with some texture on to press into the clay to make dependent. I've chosen this lace top. We're going to need to buy some silver clay. I'd recommend a 20 grand bag of silver clay for this project. You'll need a firebreak to fire your pendant on safely. You're going to need a blowtorch to fire your clay pendant. If you have a creme brulee torch at home, that will do the trick. But I will put some options in the class notes. You need three different grades of sanding pads and some colored pens to mark them so they are able to differentiate between them. I like to work on a ceramic tile, and on that I have a piece of Teflon kind of thing used in the kitchen about in kitchen shops, and then you're gonna need a small cutter for cutting out the shape of your pendant. In your play, you need some female or some plaster seen or maybe even some blue tack just for doing a trial run. You'll need a roller for rolling out your play. I use a piece of cheap hard plastic pipe. You'll need some spaces to roll your play to the right thickness. I have these spaces, but you don't necessarily have to buy. You can get playing cards and stack them to the right thickness and then take them together . But they'll need to be about 1.5 millimeters thick. A tatty old paintbrush for brushing away dust really doesn't need to be a good paintbrush. Some Brosseau and to dusters he's going to be for polishing your fired pendant, some sort of lubricant to stop the clay from sticking to your fingers and your work surface . I use this badge a bomb, but you can use olive oil, but I find that generally a sort of lip balm works the best. You're going to need a chain on a jump ring, say that you can wear your pendant. A knitting needle is useful for burnishing the edges of your fire dependent. There are a few bits that I forgot to put in the other photo. You're also going to need some oxidizing solution. This is to pick out the detail in your pendant once it's fired, and you need a very tatty paintbrush to apply with a mug warmers really useful for drying your clay and also when you're applying your oxidizing solution. But it's not essential, and you're going to need a wide brush for bringing out the silver and your fire dependent. A small drill bet for drilling a hole To put your jumping through, you're going to need two sets of pliers. They don't need to be a smallest mind so that you can open up the jump ring to put it through your pendant. I've put the definitive list in the class, Nate, so you can sit down and have a look at it and work your way through it. 4. Practice Run: Before I start working with the silver play, I like to do a practice run with a piece off polymer clay. Or you can use Plasticine where you can even try. Use a beast blue tack. If that's all you got to hand site, it means that when you actually come to work with the silver clay, you've got all the tools you need to hand. So I know I need, um my tile, which I like to work on my peace Teflon. But my role is down. It's just taking you step by step through what you will be doing with the silver play. But it doesn't matter if you muck up se rolled out. You know, female. Don't worry too much about this. It doesn't have to be perfect. It's just to give you an idea what you're finished piece of play is gonna look like, um so I've changed in a piece of lace. That's my texture. I've had a look over it, to think which bit, I think is gonna look the nicest on. I like this area here, like that little girl. So lay it down over your female, compress it into the surface, trying to get any folds in the fabric because they obviously show up. You can be quite rough with the practice. Peace is the silver. Claire's softer than this. Um, so you won't need to press. It's hard when you do the real thing. I want to make sure little this netting texture in there as well. And obviously this little vine peel it back because we've done a big area, we can now choose Which part of it we'd like to use with our cutter. Now, I quite like that, um, netted area there. And then I like the curl of this sort of buying here on because I've chosen a circular cutter. I think this shape of it will work quite well. So I'm gonna choose that area there to just have a look from above lineup Crestone and to repeal off your excess. It does have a habit of sticking to the Teflon, but like I say, it doesn't matter too much at this stage. So are you quite like that? And I have a sort of think about if that was hanging us a necklace which way I'd like it to hang where I'd like the hole in the bail to pay. I quite like it coming up like that. So I'm thinking maybe if I could make a little hole there that I think that will look nice and sell the place, so I'm going to go ahead and show you how to make that. 5. The Wet Clay Stage: So you should have a lot of pieces that you need from doing a trial run. Make sure that you've wiped any plaster scene off your Teflon onda. Also, I've given my role or a wipe down because that had lots of bits stuck to it. Take a little bit of your lubricant. Just rub a bit on the surface of the chaplain. Don't need much, just enoughto stop it sticking. I do the same with the roller. Rub it around the I think that right. Take your play and make sure you've got sort of lubricant on your fingers. I'm not gonna roll out all of that. I'm gonna take a section from it. But I didn't take a bit more than I need on the bit that you're not using. I don't need to put it away completely, but it is a good idea just to roll it back up in its tissue and put it to one side. Yeah, take a silver play and sometimes you find it's got little cracks in it like that. There you want to try and get rid of those on the actual surface that you're working on occasionally get little bit stuck in it like I've got there, picked up a little bit of something, so I just take that out, make it into rough shape you're going to use. I'm using a circle dividers spaces on either side. Remember what the cold. Then just gently roll play out. You can see it's much softer than the female that I was using before, but those 6 to 1 side, because we've done a trial run, we know which area of our texture that we're going to use. So lay that down. I don't want to press too hard because this is softer than the females that I was using before. But you get a feel for it, and if you muck up, you could just roll up your play and start again. And if it starts to get better dry than spritz it with a little bit of water, all right, I want to try and do this evenly as possible, so you don't want to end up with one area of your pendant a lot thinner than the other little bit. Doesn't matter. Drawing gets much of that texture in there as possible, pressing down even name if you want you can run your road or over it, but I find a finger, works fine, and then gently peel it back. Then again, because I know which area of the design I want from doing my practice Run. I'm just gonna run a little bit of the lubricant around, cutting edge line up my area. I'm impressed on now. This doesn't stick, Teoh. The Teflon, like the female does. So I tend to take away my excess while I've still got the cutter in place because it means that I won't distort my final cut piece. When you're working with silver clay, save everything. Say I put that straight back into my little stash, move it back up, put it to one side and then just gently, he's the cut off. We have it. Okay, that's ready for drawing. Don't forget to put your excess clay back in its cling film within its dry tissue and back in its little bag in the top, where part so that it doesn't dry out, and it's there when you want to use it again. 6. Drying Your Clay: e comes to drying your play. You can just leave it, um, art in the open air to dry. Um, sometimes we drive things too fast. They can distort a little bit. Um, but with this one, I don't think it matters too much. So I have got here my mug walmart, which I know is upside down to you. But that's just the way anywhere can show with the cable. Very old is tatty eso. I'm gonna put it onto low setting because I don't want Teoh. Let's get to hot, completely distort. And then just literally take your child that we were working on. And you leave it on the Teflon. Don't try and take it off on just sitting there on dumb. Go off and do something else. Fun while you're waiting. Um, probably best to leave it for a good few hours on. Then we'll come back and look at it again later. 7. The Dry Clay Stage: now you should have a nice dry piece of play. I actually left my one overnight. They went to do something else. Now we just need Teoh smoothed off the edges, tidy up the back and drill a little hole so we can put a jumping or split. Bring through it. You want to try and save your play dust because you can recondition it. Use it again. So I like Teoh. Do my standing over a folded piece of paper, Um, on dure gonna need your sanding pads, which I'm Mark mine on the back. So the coarsest one, I have a red, so I just get one of those big felt tip markers. Next one is blue, and then the smoothest one I, Marcus Green. I don't know why I do that. It's just where I was taught. And it's, I know in my head that that's the courses, Turks, the medium, and that's the finest one. It's a start off with your courses. Pad on. I normally start off on the back and start funding, and then you're gonna want to get around the edges just like that, just getting rid of any parts. So I'm going to just speed this up. I wouldn't recommend sending the front the decorative side of your pendant with the red pad because it's just too coarse and you're gonna take off any decoration. Now, I don't really like to have sharp edges my jewelry, so I tend to just go over that that edge piece just to round it off a little bit. I'm still using the red pad just together a nice curved edge and make dependent lit more tactile. Do that on that side, and then I do the same on that side, that literally just keeping it to the edge, not going over the decorative area way around, collecting all that lovely silver dust in my piece of paper. That's it. With the red pat now moving on to the blues, which is the second coarsest on the process. Sound the back edge and just go over those bits again. I shall speed it up. That's a good idea at this point, just to check, so I tend to take a paintbrush and just wipe away any extra dust. You can see what you've got. Sometimes the dust gets into little cracks and grooves on. Just check it in the light. Make sure you got it smooth as possible. Remember that it's easier to get it smooth at this stage. That is, after you fired it. So preparation makes a difference. Now I'm gonna move on. Teoh Green pad Now with the green pad, you can very gently go over your decorative side. It's really just to get the high points. You don't want to lose the decorations take way too much. And then again, just on the edge you've got a nice a nice, smooth edge once is fired and then specially the access. Good idea. Just brush off your fingers as well, because just gonna go onto dependent, try and get as much dust that he can out of ALS grooves. How big a safe are now you want to save as much of that dust as possible. So I have a jam jar which has got extremely full. But that is actually surprisingly heavy because it's mostly silver. I'm just you just and I say that to one side again on you need to decide where you're going to put your whole your jump ring or split ring. So you want to think about how you want it to hang. Andi, I think I want that part of the decoration coming around that bottom side. So I would like to put my whole but there are things we just mark it with a pencil. Andi want it. You don't want it too close to the edge. This is where you're going to use your drill bit and drill a hole through, but you don't want to make that bit too thin, so I put it down on your surface and then line up your drill bit. And then just with your fingers, just twist. Let me move the camera so you can see that everything that's slightly better angle to show you what I'm doing just with your fingers to drill bits. And you could just do a little bit and test that you've got it where you want my down a smidge. It's looking like it might be bitchy, close to the tops. Just keep gently twisting. You're not sure you can stop wipe away the exercise. You could see where my holds coming. Keep going until you go right through the other side. Excite, and then I get my green sanding pad just very gently, the whole and then on the back. Sometimes you get a little bit sticking their passion for rub for the green pad, use a paintbrush. Make sure you haven't got any dust in there or any leftover bits. We have it that's ready to be fired. 8. Firing: that way. The firing piece. Need your firebreak minds obviously seeing quite a lot of action. Put your piece down on the fire brick, your time. A on set, two minutes on it. Do this. One works on the phone or kitchen timer. Um, then get your blowtorch on. You want to try and keep the heat is even as possible. Se Don't go right place to it. People have mice distance and just keep it moving evenly over the surface. You see, it's starting to smoke. Don't be alarmed when it catches fire like that Mental happened. That's to find a burning off, and it'll start to get really ugly. Then it'll go white, and then it will start to glow orange. And I just realized it's a bit bright in here, so I'm just gonna turn the lights off. SE Fact. Made a little bit dark basically, once it's caught fire going through the bet we wanted to get. So it's glowing orange, and if your lights too bright in the room when you won't be able to see that risk taking it a bit too far, just keep an eye. It's starting to get orange now, so Once it's going orange, I can take my timer impressed when you want to hold it at that glowing orange color for two minutes. Keep moving the heat read even they So once you've done your two minutes, you can leave it there to cool. Oh, you can pick it up with a pair of metal tongs. Just drop it into cold water. They have it. That is piece of fired silver. And although it doesn't look it yet, that will turn Silva say no. I'm gonna dio actual pendant on the fire break But my time is set Stop smooth catching fire again before it. When that happens, burning a great it's gonna go right way. Now That's 30 minutes time. Carry on like that for the two minutes. Don't worry. It's like it's starting to Bo bit. Little circle itself back down again. Me that every day downplayed torture General and then take it. Yeah, that play has now turned to silver. No, she had to make it looks over, which is the best bit 9. Polishing: take fire dependent. Just throw it off gently, and he's kitchen roll. Now this is magic bit. Take your wire brush. I love this. You see, all of a sudden, it's turning silver, so carry on bringing out silver route to the whole pendant over the edges on the same on the back. I have to say this stage never ever loses its magic when you see the silver starting to come into that white color. So once you've got the silver out over all of it, it's time to just start working your way through your different sanding pads again, polishing it up. So back to your colored sanding pads on. Start with the coarsest one, the red one. What a load back Pretty much the same as you did when it was in dry play. Stage for polish, but you can be a little bit rougher with it now that it's actually hired fatty resilience. Find it around the edges again. I probably wouldn't use the red side on the pattern side, cause this this decoration in here is really quite small, and I want to keep as much for its possible. That will go that edge Red and then just work your way through the different stages. Um, until you have a nice shiny pendant. And there we have the polish dependent. We're going to give it one final polish with brow, say, but first of all, we're going t oxidize it. So if this next bit I'm gonna show you how to bring out some of the detail in this eso I've got the piece of silver, but on my mug warmer. Set it too high. It's only been on there for a couple of minutes already Quite warm. Um, little jug using a cup, Something like that. This'll bit is particularly smelly. So do in the well ventilated area. Got my oxidizing solution. Liver of sulfur. Poor, tiny bit into the jug. And then I boiled the kettle. I'm just gonna top that up with hot water. Yes, money. Dip your brush in and then just paint over the surface. You can dip the whole piece into the liver of sulfur, but you end up with a lot more cleaning up to do. I tend to do this just working away, away from surfacing. See? Hurts, Tony. Yucky black color. Don't worry. It will look nice turn off the heat. You can either leave it to cool down or pick it up with tongs. Just be careful. Don't burn your fingers because that piece silver is quite hot now on going to go and wash that under warm water. Say it's not looking too pretty at the moment. It's a battle, Kitchen wrote. Take Kill. We're all say off and stop chaining off high areas. A bit of L degrees, just a section of it. And then I'll speed up the whole thing's foreign. Peter Watch. I would like to have a dirty rag on a clean rag. Start up with your dirty rag. Good. You're gonna finish that off your train wreck. Say, if you can see that half I haven't cleaned that off. I have. But the dirt's kind of gone into a with little bits of detail, which shows up the pattern. So speed up the rest of the training. I haven't got any of the liver, the sell for on the back. It is nice to go over the back and the edges with bra. Say it's just that it's the finer abrasive in your green polishing pad. We just wanted shiny as possible. - We have it. Show you a little trick finishing off the edges, So got a knitting needle. And this makes great burnish er for the edges se holding it like that. Just rub your knitting needle over that edge. Look away all the way around. Just makes that edge really nice and shiny. Gets you a pendant. Lovely finish. Don't be tempted to go over the big, flat areas. You'll end up with lots of scratch marks. Now we just need to put the jumping through. Attach a chain and its ready to wear. 10. Jump Ring & Chain: way ready to attach the jump ring, so we need to open that up. So with one set of pliers, hold one side firmly. Take your other set, hold the other side, pull them apart. That got a gap. Thread that through the hole in your pendant and using both sets. Suppliers holding back together. Let's say that they're not quite meeting like that and then applies. Hold the bottom of the jump. Ring firmly with your other set at the top. Squeeze together So the two pieces of metal actually go just past each other. So we're gonna use the resistance of the metal to close the Jumper se. Once you've got it, it's a bit fiddly. Once you got it like that again, take one side and applies. Now I'm gonna gently pulled apart and pushed the metal back the opposite way too far. Because in the resistance in the metal means that they'll spring back together. Line up because this is sturdy jump ring. That means that that's not going to go anywhere. Doesn't need to be sold it. Take a chain, Read it through and there we have it. One cell dependent, ready to be born 11. Class Project: my son Montes come to join us for the cars project video. So hopefully by now you have a beautiful, fired, polished silver pendant. Do you like it that you've made all yourself on your wearing with pride? I would love you to share a fate a off your finish pendant for the class project Onda Also , if there's any way that you think I could improve the class, please leave a comment that you know, I have got some ideas for some more silver plate classes. So if you want to know about those, then follow along on and you'll be alerted when the next class comes up on. I hope you've enjoyed it. I hope it's inspired you to make more jewelry and to keep going with silver cake because it really is magical stuff. Thanks for watching.