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Friday, September 18, 2009


In my spare time (you know, between my new job, Etsy, Zibbet, Blog, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc - LOL) I decided to take a metal clay class at the College of Southern Maryland.

It was such an AWESOME experience!!!!

The class was taught by a wonderful instructor - Barbara Diane Hance. She was informative, patient and knowledgeable.

It was a 2 day class. On our first day, we were taught all about the different types of metal clay. We also learned about textures and other techniques.
We were given a metal clay tool kit and a package of clay - pictured below.

We made a pendant first. We were provided with the instructors supply of many, many textures, cutters, CZ beads and everything else we would need to apply our imagination.

I LOVE writing, so I selected a texture sheet with writing on it. As you can see in the picture below, you can not tell the texture is writing - LOL, what was I thinking????
I chose a large and small heart cutter and pressed the CZ in the center.
Barb taught us several bail techniques and I chose the bail that is made by rolling a long thin rope and wrapping it around a straw. I placed my bail off center cause it matches my personality!!
I am pleased with my very first metal clay project!!!

Next, we made earrings. I selected the same small heart cutter.

Barb took our pieces home and fired them in her kiln.
During our second class, our pieces were returned to us, ready to complete our projects. We cleaned the pieces with a wire brush first (ouch!!! I didn't like this part) and then Barb tumbled them in her tumbler.
We were given the option to patina or not, using a liver of sulfur mix.
I applied the patina to my earrings but not my pendant.
Next, we put our earrings together. We selected the beads we wanted and were provided with earring findings and silver wire.
We were taught wire wrapping. This is a technique I usually avoid because I use my fingers to wrap and end up with sore fingers. But...our awesome instructor taught us how to wire wrap using 2 pair of chain nose pliers!! WooHoo, you will see more wire wrapping in my pieces now!!

We had clay left over after we made the pendant and earrings. Barb told us we could make something with the left over clay and she would teach us how to fire the pieces using a torch. I made 3 initials - J for me, C for my daughter and D for my friend. I made them by rolling the clay into a long rope and shaping the rope into the letters. Then I rolled the rope initials flat. I rolled one of the files from my metal clay tool kit over my letters to make the texture on them.

Barb taught us how to torch fire during our second class. She fired one of my letters and I fired the other 2. Once fired, these pieces were placed in the tumbler. Now all I have to do is add a jump ring and chain to each one.
I am really, really sad that I can't attend Barb's advanced metal clay class :(
I am burdened with a conflict of schedules.
But...I will attend her next advanced class and am looking forward to it!!!
Now...I have a real treat for you!!!! I emailed Barb and asked permission to provide a link to her website on this post. I also asked for and received permission to share pictures of some of her AMAZING pieces.
Here is her website - Adornments By Diane.
Please visit her site to learn more about metal clay, classes and see many more of her lovely pieces!!!
I am awed by Barb's metal clay skills!!
Like this lovely, lacy seahorse.
This beautiful leaf design would make a wonderful gift for any lady but especially someone with an autumn birthday.
This is a gorgeous necklace!!! Have you ever seen a cuter toggle????
This fish is absolutely beautiful!!!!
And...Barb makes other pieces as well. Like this stunning paperweight.

Visit Barb's site now to see the rest of her unbelievably beautiful items.
If you live in Southern Maryland, I suggest you attend one of her classes if you are interested in metal clay or any of the other crafts she teaches. She's a wonderful instructor!!!
I have to mention Barb also makes custom pieces, just email her with your design!!!


  1. i've never heard of such a thing. very cool! thanks for sharing this idea!

  2. WOW ive been interested in dabbling with this for awhile, what a great post!

  3. That sounds like such a fun class and your work is gorgeous too!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. It really was great fun!!!
    Bonzai - you should go for it!!
    Thank you paintingpam and Sarah!!


  5. I am going to have to try that!

  6. How fun! I've never heard of metal clay!

    I love the seahorse!


  7. Wow, you did a great job with metal clay! The first time I tried it, I found it kind of difficult to work with, but you make it look easy! :)

  8. I never heard of metal clay either! Great pieces shown here!

    Thanks for posting on my Blog Blast thread!

    Following you :-)

  9. Thank you everyone!!!
    As usual - you are the best :)


  10. I LOVE that leaf. What an interesting design! Very pretty work!

  11. I enjoyed this and didn't know about metal clay!


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