Fine silver cast of cow parsley
One of the things that astonishes me most about silver clay is its ability to capture the most delicate details when imprinting leaves into it or casting from nature. The finest hairs or veins on a leaf or the subtle texture on a baby sea urchin or acorn cap can be cast using this brilliant material. The fine silver pendants that result are humblingly accurate copies of nature’s details -tactile, covetable and beautiful.
Pieces made by complete beginners on my workshop on 23rd April
The process we use to make these beautiful nature casts is like modern-day alchemy – we begin with a small lump of clay that resembles a sort of depressive blu tac – grey and uninspiring. In between we make silicon moulds, bake our pieces and then set them on fire. The class concludes with little hand-decorated boxes in which sit bona fide silvery treasure: pure silver sycamore keys, medieval pilgrim badges, cockle shells, 19th century keys, tudor buttons, imprints of wild strawberry leaves, berries and seedpods.
Silver cast of a sedum succulent
I’ve lost count of the number of beginners who have made silver casts and fossils in my workshops. It’s become almost commonplace to me now, but of course capturing the exquisite texture of a sage leaf or the veins of a primrose leaf that’s a descendent of the ones the Darwin used to help him fathom natural selection (this occurred at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens last year) in silver is astonishing. It doesn’t seem possible that such beautiful silver versions of nature finds and found objects could be made in your kitchen but it’s true, and I can teach you how to do it…
Making geranium leaf silver ‘fossils’ by imprinting into silver clay
I’m holding a beginners taster session in Fleet, Hampshire at the house of Tanya Barrow on Saturday 28th May. In 2.5 hours you’ll make 2 or 3 pendants to hang on a sterling silver chain (£60 each) book here.
I’ve also added several more dates later in the summer and into the Autumn: 20th August, 3rd September & 17th September. Click here for more details and to book.