Silver Clay Beads

Course information sheet

Fees: Standard £ 89 Conc £36 Full £164 * Enrol online for standard fee payers only

Day Time Weeks Centre Start End Code Enroll
Wednesday 10:00 - 12:30 5 MAC 12/06/2019 10/07/2019 AJ3619

What will the course cover?

This five class course will introduce working with silver clay to create three dimensional forms including your own unique beads. Silver clay is a clever material, made from particles of pure silver mixed with a binder to form a clay like substance that can be modelled, carved and moulded, then refined and fired to burn away the binder, leaving a pure solid silver item. It gives more options for jewellers to bring their ideas to life and requires less specialist tools so is more practical to work with at home than traditional metalwork. Students will work through two or three projects – creating beads in different styles – small tube beads or spacers, filigree style beads and solid round or lentil shaped beads – learning how to form different three dimensional shapes, to join it, add decoration – although these are set projects there will be flexibility to ensure students’ own design ideas can be used.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who has worked with metal clay before (having done some experimenting at home or taken a beginners course), learners with experience will benefit most from this course, to add to existing skills. Great for people planning to start their own business, individuals who are interested in working within the jewellery trade, or anyone looking to explore their creativity.

What skills, knowledge or experience do I need to start this course?

Students should have worked in silver clay before – bead making is an intermediate skill, not great for complete beginners, although students will be able to progress at their own pace to reach your full potential. Students with previous jewellery making or beading skills are welcome.

What should I be able to do by the end of the course?

Students will learn a series of different ways to work with silver clay – creating beads to their desired size and in various styles. Students will be able to plan out their designs, work with the clay, join shapes and layers together, set fireable stones, fire and polish the finished jewellery. If needed, depending on their designs, students will also be able to solder on attachments. Students should expect to complete at least one unique decorated feature bead to their own design, as well as either a series of different quick small pieces to test ideas or techniques. Put into practice health & safety procedures relating to materials and equipment. Select and obtain materials for future projects. Select tools, equipment and techniques to execute simple designs from idea to completion, describing how they will be used and why and be able to use these competently.

How is the course organised?

There will be practical demonstrations of different techniques throughout the course, formal instruction, group discussion, practical experience and individual tuition and support.

What extra study or practice is expected outside of the class?

Students may like to continue their work at home between the classes, but this is not essential. Visits to museums and further research - completely optional - may be advised during the class for anyone interested in continuing their work and progressing further.

How will my progress be assessed?

Progress is assessed through discussing the work individually and in groups and recorded in your Individual Learning Plan and Learning Journal and sketchbook.

What can I expect to go on to after this course?

Continue in craft or jewellery making classes to learn more different skills. Try other jewellery or art and design classes to broaden your skills. Use your work to form part of a portfolio for application to further or higher education courses or employment.

Are there any other costs and what do I need to bring?

We have a fully equipped jewellery workshop containing large items of equipment as well as hand tools for students to use. All materials will be available to buy from the tutor on the day if needed. We will be working with PMC3 or Art Clay Silver – costing around £2 per gram – depending on the projects selected and their own designs, students are likely to use up to around £20 worth of clay on each project. Clay can be bought from the tutor at discounted rates. It is good practice to keep a notebook or sketchbook for design work, ideas and technical notes.

What support is available?

Help with literacy or numeracy is available through the basic education programme and the ESOL programme offers help for speakers of other languages. Additional support can be provided for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Details of all available support can be found on our website (, in the Guide and the Student handbook, or from teaching or Reception staff.