- 19th June - 8:00pm : ‘Curator of Leeds Castle’ - By Annie Kemkaran-Smith.
- 23rd June - 5:00pm : W.I. Mid Summer Picnic in the Meadows.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Silver Clay Jewellery making

(Denman College has  been featured in previous blogs -October 2010 and November 2011 )

The WI's residential college in Marcham near Oxford offer courses to Members and non-members alike with a huge range of courses.

In September West Kent WI's booked the whole college for the weekend and took two coach loads of members to take part in several courses -   we had two days  for courses which were many and varied.

As usual we had  a great time, learned new skills, met new friends and old and enjoyed full board and lodging in the ensuite rooms of a lovely country house and garden. 

Summer Herbal Kitchen - This Course attracted our County Chairman Sheila Miles
who went home with a cool box full of self made goodies from the purpose built Cookery School

 Summer Flowers in Watercolour for Beginners

Two courses for those wanting to get out and about
 Treasurers of the Ashmolean,  The Oldest Museum in Britain in Oxford 
Gardens of Oxford - Historic and Modern College Gardens

Wardrobe wizard - how to multiply your wardrobe into more outfits and gain more confidence. 

The Bravest among us chose Learn to Play the Harp  -
 in less than 2 days - and they demonstrated their new found skills to us all with great aplomb.

Margaret from Hollingbourne chose SILVER CLAY WORKSHOP
Silver clay was a new medium to us and  we discovered that it was made in Japan  from recycled silver from used electrical equipment.  It can be moulded or rolled (like Pastry) , shaped and fired to become a beautiful and unique silver  piece.   The examples above were made by the tutor, and believe it or not some were very simple once you know how! 

 These are cutters and stamps which can be used to cut out the clay

We were each given basic tools to use which would be found in the home, including some playing cards. We began by trying out the skills with Play dough, and our prototypes helped us to know what was or was not possible. The clay is rolled out between two sets of 5 playing cards - this gives just the right thickness for charms and earrings.

Drop earrings - two small rectangles were cut out, then 4 small hearts - the hearts were stuck on the rectangles with liquid silver - two holes made in the top with a drinking straw.  They were then fired  - which can even be done on a gas stove.  The one on the left is the colour immediately after firing. The one on the right has been burnished  (rubbed with a wire brush and a metal teaspoon.)

 Those who made charms used sugarcraft cutters to achieve their shapes

This was the final result in the short time we had.
1.   The earrings with hooks.  2.   A Pendant.    3.   A broach  - a leaf which we painted with liquid silver 7 times before it was fired(during which the leaf evaporates)  4.    A pair of moulded rose earings  

               All of our items were unique and we can see the scope for future individual gifts - we just need to save up to buy the Silver Clay.  It is one craft where anyone could achieve an item they would be proud of, and it is possible West Kent Federation will arrange a dayschool locally for us.
Our Tutor was Melanie Blaikie and you will be able to find her on the internet.  ----

If you don't know what to have for a Christmas or Birthday Present, why not ask for a voucher for a course at Denman,