I've always loved collage. Whether it was tearing up watercolors I didn't like, or working with a variety of Japanese washi papers, I became mesmerized by the task of arranging and rearranging bits of paper and color to make a pleasing composition. When I first began working with metal clay, I was instantly drawn to the possibility of making collages of texture. The process I was taught involved texturing small pieces of clay and laboriously attaching each piece to a dried base of metal clay. I was delighted when an idea I had of making a textured paper plate actually worked and I was able to create a collage of textures with one simple roll. Last week, I taught my first workshop using this technique and was excited to see such beautiful results from our students!

The first step in this process is to create a small plate of textured papers. Any kind of textured papers can be used. Plasticized textured wallpapers work well along with many types of textured plastic, sandpaper, tear-away textures, as well as textured Japanese washi papers.

Here are examples of finished texture plates created in the workshop

The next step is to oil the texture plates really well in order that the metal clay will take on the textures without sticking to the paper texture plate!

Rose's very first "roll" in metal clay! Beautiful!

Everyone in the workshop had great success in creating a one-of-a-kind textures in metal clay by rolling it on the texture plate they created. Now they would have to wait until the next afternoon to see how their clay creations had magically transformed to beautiful fine silver through kiln firing. Now it was time to learn how to use the rotary tools and patina to finish their pendants and earrings.

Dipping jewelry into liver of sulphur to add a patina that will highlight the textures

And the finished results...drum roll please!!!!

Wow! Angie and I were so pleased to see the amazing jewelry created by our students who had never worked with metal clay before! Very exciting for everyone! We always have so much fun introducing people to the wonderful creative possibilities of metal clay and seeing their enthusiasm when they leave the studio with such beautiful creations!