Exciting new masterclass in PMC Sterling silver clay

Overgrown Garden Vessels with Lesley Messam
7th and 8th September 2013,
£385 per person (including materials)

Lesley Messam is an inventive and highly skilled artist and jeweller. She has reached Level 4 in the Metal Clay Masters Registry, only the second person in the world to achieve this. She is constantly experimenting and exploring techniques in construction and is an experienced and generous teacher.

I am delighted that she has agreed to teach here in North Yorkshire and to share her techniques for creating a small vessel with a threaded closure. In this workshop you will learn how to use PMC Sterling* silver clay to construct a very beautiful hollow formed vessel with a clever screw threaded lid, embellished with a cabochon of glass or stone, set after firing.

Sterling silver does have some advantages over fine silver, its additional strength is great for pendants on long chains that could be accidentally knocked and also for rings where durability is important.

Lesley will teach us how to make a screw thread in various sizes at minimal cost. Her method does not use gadgets or kits; works every time; is cheap and works to make the thread in many different sizes.

She will also show you how to add texture your vessel without the use of commercial texture sheets so that you can add embellishments of your own unique design or, if you would prefer to make little roses she will be happy to show you how.

*Art clay silver is an option if you prefer – indicate on the booking form
Please comment giving your email address if you would like a booking form (I won’t publish your comment)

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Local B&Bs include Bank House Farm http://www.bankhousefarmhostel.co.uk/
Beggars Bridge B&B http://www.beggarsbridge.co.uk/
Red House Farm B&B (and holiday cottages) http://www.redhousefarm.com/
And there are others – leave me a message via the comments if you would like more information or to book (include your email address, I won’t publish it)

Make your own Wedding rings

I have been asked on a few occasions to help couples to make their own wedding rings. Here in my studio near Whitby on the North York Moors I have all the tools and equipment you need and can help you to create your own special and unique rings for each other. On Saturday I spent a lovely day helping Nicole and Jamie make each other a wedding ring in sterling silver.

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We began the day with coffee and a discussions about the width, thickness and finish of the rings and then Nicole and Jamie learned how to use a piercing saw to cut their silver strip, working out the required length and cutting and filing it. They annealed it and while the silver strips were in the pickle they had a few attempts at stamping a little star punch into copper sheet – and then onto the silver strips. They annealed and pickled them again before forming the basic ring shapes and soldering the join with silver solder

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Once they were happy with the soldered seams they filed and sanded all the surfaces.

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After getting them to their chosen finish Nicole decided to oxidise the ring Jamie had made her to make the star punch marks stand out more

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Here are their lovely rings – I am now going to send them off for hallmarking ready for their big day at the beginning of May. Thanks to them both for a thoroughly enjoyable day and best wishes to them for their future together.

Make your own wedding rings

Over the past couple of years I have run the occasional workshop for couples to make their own wedding rings. This began when I was asked by a couple of friends, who then recommended me to their colleagues. I now offer this as part of my regular schedule as a one day workshop for couples to spend the day in the jewellery studio with me and make rings for each other, from start to finish.

I will take you step by step through the process and by the end of the day your rings will be beautifully finished and you will be impressed and happy with your results. Even if you have never done any jewellery making before, you will be able to make perfectly finished rings, adding a little extra meaning to your wedding day knowing that you have created these for each other.

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My experience shows that simple wedding bands, made and finished perfectly are the most satisfying. If you would prefer something a little more complicated, it is possible, but please contact me to discuss your ideas to ensure they are possible in one day.

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The standard workshop is £350 per couple and this includes sterling silver for two rings. If you would like to make your ring in gold then I am happy to discuss your requirements but the gold will be an additional cost. Please be aware that gold prices fluctuate on a daily basis and I would require payment in advance before ordering your materials. I would suggest that perhaps you make an appointment to visit the studio and discuss your requirements in greater detail if you want to make your wedding rings in gold.

I include tea and coffee throughout the day but you will need to bring your own packed lunch.

If you would like more information or to make a booking please email me

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What could be more special and romantic than spending a day creating your own rings? My workshop is located in the beautiful landscape of the North York Moors near to Whitby, perfect for a romantic weekend away. This is a fun and relaxed day for anyone planning their unique handmade wedding – even complete beginners.

Terms and conditions

The studio is not currently wheelchair accessible and students with disabilities should enquire about the suitability of the courses prior to booking. If you book a class and you know you have mobility or other issues which may impact on your ability to attend, then subsequently cancel, no refund will be given. It is your responsibility to ensure you fully understand our accessibility limitations before you book.

Wedding Rings – 50% deposit is required to secure the date to make your own wedding rings and is non-refundable. If you subsequently cancel the booking, no refund will be given. If you have made arrangements to make your ring in gold then payment for the metal for your rings will be required in advance. If, for any reason you cancel your booking No cash refund will be given for metal if it has already been purchased. If the metal has not been purchased a full refund will be given for the metal price quoted.

If you are booked on a class, wedding ring day or course and you do not turn up on the day for any reason, no refund will be given. If you turn up and are considered to be incapable of working safely due to alcohol, drugs or general ill-health or fatigue, you will be excluded from the class with no refund. I reserve the right to exclude any student I feel may be a danger to themselves or other students.

If due to unforeseen circumstances a course has to be cancelled by me, you will be offered an alternative date or a refund. You will be given as much notice as possible, however, I cannot be held responsible for your travel or accommodation costs.

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Text series – Enamelled Jewellery

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I have recently been working on a new series of pieces of jewellery. These are enamel on silver and involve a combination of different techniques. I have created photopolymer printing plates with fragments of old text and in some of the piece you can clearly see words beneath the transparent enamels, on other pieces the text is not quite so apparent. This pendant is quite small, only 25mm x 17.5mm

North Yorkshire Open Studios

I am ready for the second weekend of North Yorkshire Open Studios and looking forward to welcoming more visitors over the next 2 days. On Saturday I will demonstrate a bit of fold forming, the art of folding and hammering metal to create beautiful sculptural shapes.

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I will have a variety of hand made charm style glass beads for sale

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together with some of my new range of little secret places, silver jewellery inspired by buildings

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Visitors will also get a preview of my recent enamelled panels based on Whitby Abbey with moths

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I have been working on these in preparation for the forthcoming exhibition of work by members of the Guild of Enamellers at the Pannett Art Gallery in Whitby (but will post information on this later).

I hope to see plenty of people tomorrow and, if it stops raining for long enough, will be putting so e pretty bunting up around the studio door to add to the feeling of celebration in this fantastic event.

Textural series

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These pieces are part of my range of sterling silver jewellery called Textural and are inspired by textures found in the landscape.

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They are currently available directly from me and on display in my studio for North Yorkshire Open Studios 2012. Please email me if you would like to buy one of these pieces or for more information. They are all sterling silver and hallmarked.

I also run metal clay, art clay silver, PMC and enamelling classes as well as more traditional jewellery making such as making silver rings. For my class schedule please follow the link or email if you would like to book a place.

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