I'm Helen and thank you for visiting my SilversNature website which has been set up as a result of my passion for silver clay, polymer clay, fused glass and genuine gemstones. I love to make all types of jewellery designs and experiment with new products and working with these exciting mediums makes jewellery-making a great pleasure.
I have been working with polymer clay since 2005. It is great for colour and patterns and such fun to work with, that I have made so many types of beads alongside my young son. Two years later I discovered silver clay. The first time I worked with it I attended a beginners course with a lovely lady called Hilary, who was very patient and helpful. I enjoyed it so much that I enrolled on another course soon after and in 2008 I took another course with Larissa and qualified as an Art Clay™ Certified Instructor. Since then I have spent many hours creating lots of lovely silver jewellery designs.
What I love the most about silver clay is that you can manipulate it into almost any design you like. Taking moulds of all sorts of textures such as shells, leaves, bark and practically anything that catches your eye is really easy and produces amazing results. This is why I enjoy teaching a variety of silver clay workshops to help others create their own wonderful jewellery designs in fine silver.
About the materials used...
Silver Clay (Precious Metal Clay)
With silver/gold clay you can easily create fine silver or gold handmade designs using readily available tools. The two makes on the market today are Art Clay™ made by Aida Corporation and Precious Metal Clay made by Mitsubishi Materials.
Silver clay is a water-based clay made from pure silver powder, water and non-toxic organic binder which is a bonding agent. When dry it becomes hard enabling you to carve, engrave, file and sand it before firing. After firing (in a kiln, on a gas hob or with a small chef's torch), it becomes 99.9% pure silver. There is also a gold version of the clay which becomes pure 22 carat gold.
Silver clay can be shaped, moulded, pressed, rolled, twisted, sculpted, pulled and cut, just like any other clay. You can use a syringe and extrude it to create fine filigree designs. Silver clay can be combined with fine silver wire, sterling silver, dichroic glass and other materials before firing.
Once it has been fired, it can be carefully drilled, filed, polished, burnished, tumbled, hammered and soldered, just like any other precious metal. You can use Accent Gold for Silver or Art Clay Gold Paste to add gold accents to your designs. Silver clay can also be combined with other materials such as copper, beads, dichroic glass, semi-precious gems, pearls, polymer clay, resin and ceramic.
Polymer clay is a great way to start creating your own handmade colourful designs whether it be jewellery, models or embellishments as it's a very easy medium to work with - only a few tools are required i.e. a knife, cocktail sticks and an oven (for baking the final designs). The two main products on the market today are FIMO (made in Germany) and Sculpey (made in in the United States). Polymer clay is soft and pliable, works and feels like ceramic clay, but will not dry out when exposed to air. Shape it into your desired form and bake according to the instructions. Once cool, it can be sanded, drilled, carved, painted and glazed.