Friday, 25 March 2011

EU conference day one masterclass

So day one arrives and I am half asleep it feels like 6am at 7am due to time differences and I spent half last night climbing a very big hill as the funicular wasn't working. The sumptous breakfasts (everything you can think of) and copious amounts of coffee later its time for the masterclass in filigree with Ryoto (last minute change of teacher due to events in Japan). It wonderful to put some more names to faces (and to discover I am not the only one still asleep and making silly mistakes). Every person I meet has some incredible work of art masquerading as jewellery on them...
As usual the samples are wonderful and Ryoto makes it look easy and Mai translating makes it sound easy....we are making snakes of clay using slow tarnish clay to go round a provided mould. I can do that, so far, so good.....then some base pieces of clay for support, check...and then it gets tougher....yes (drum roll) out come the syringes, built layer on layer (some swearing under the breath is heard in various languages). We are making vine patterns, smoothing and shaping. You will have to excuse the photos of my work...I am sure it could be much better!
The pendant bail is an Art Clay exclusive one, a nice design. I am picking up lots of tips on using overlay piece to get better joins between metal and the clay/syringe. So base done its on to flower petals. We are using pre-twisted filigree wires to speed things up and we manipulate it with pliers and make joins and finish with both overlay paste (OSP) and ST syringe. (shown below)

Having managed the first syringe part it gets more difficult...we have to make leaves just using syringe strokes, directly on the piece (not much you can do if you make mistakes!). It is nowhere as easy as Ryoto makes it look. This is his piece (I am not showing you mine no matter how much you beg!!!)
Then it is time to add the petals in two separate layers and some small balls of clay for stamen. (gratifyingly this hides the two bottom leaves!).

Again not my one ;-) As you see there is also now some syringe around the interior and exterior frames to give a twisted effect. Action shot coming up.....

So now they are ready to fire.....
and we are shown alot of other pieces using the technique. They are incredible (we are not worthy is murmered....)

More to come but for now its back to the fray for opening speeches and swarovski presentation (oh and some dinner though after the lunch and tea much food... they will have to roll me onto the plane home!)

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