Precious metal clay at Rock, Gem and Silver class

A nearly finished piece using a silver medium

A nearly finished piece using a silver medium

One of the more interesting classes being offered thru Sun Lakes Rock Gem and Silver class is the Precious metal clay (PMC). No special tools are required and the results are only restricted by the imagination of the students to transform a clay like substance into any shape they desire. Under the tutelage of instructor Gena Hall, they learn to mold, texture and form the clay into jewelry and other small objects of décor. Once they are satisfied with the form it is dried under heat to leather like texture. Then it is cleaned, trimmed and rough edges removed for the final firing. It is then placed into a kiln where high temperatures burn off the clay leaving only the pure silver, copper or bronze.

The first four classes consist of using a silver medium, crafting pieces that are catching to the eye; for instance, a filigree of fine texture over a quail egg. Once fired the pieces of the egg that are left are broken into smaller pieces that can be removed through a hole leaving the form that is then finished by cleaning and polishing. The variety of forms shown in the pictures gives the reader an idea of the imagination of the individual creations.

Once the students complete the silver class, they may then advance on to classes using copper and brass mediums. The beauty of these class offerings is the opportunity to use stones they may have polished in the final process, creating pieces of jewelry or décor they can be proud to display or wear. I know from experience that friends and family that come to visit ask for pieces. There is nothing more appreciated than a piece of custom made jewelry or stone art. Three airy and well equipped shops are open to the members who have completed the classes. Moderators attend each open shop session to supervise and give advice to members.

Meetings are held once each month on the third Monday at 10:00 a.m. in the Navajo Room at Sun Lakes Country Club. There you can see which classes are available and talk to instructors as well as view some of the examples of the work and even purchase raw stone for your projects. Our website is available at Join us!