About The Work Room

The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Metal Clay : In The Studio

While waiting for my camera to be fixed......share share with you some of the pictures that I manage to take on the day of the course at In The Studio (pun intended! lol.... :P).

I found In The Studio through some random searches online and just decided to join their PMC course since it was so near to Nottingham. It's in Kegworth, which is about an hour's drive or so from Nottingham.

Hhhmmm, I don't exactly know how I should classify the are. The studio is both a studio and a house. Thing is, I don't quite understand how houses in England are.

Unlike Malaysia, we either have a shophouse or a house. House is where one stays and a shophouse is where you do business and stay at the same time. A shophouse is normally a 2 storey dwellings with the family staying upstairs and conducting their business downstairs.

In The Studio feels somewhat like a mansion setup but yet not as big as a mansion. Erm, does that make any sense? I don't even know what I'm blabbing about already! LOL......

But the point is, they offer residential for students from outstation. Well, with the necessary B&B charges, of course!

So, it could be like a weekend break thingy as well. Instead of sightseeing or whatever, you make jewellery.

If you see from the site, they call themselves a jewellery making school and offer loads of jewellery making related courses and they have even got branches in London and Spain.

I didn't get to take too many pictures on that day cuz I was already running out of time to finish all my pieces already, so clicking on the camera was pretty much the last thing I had on my mind.

All I was thinking about throughout the two days was, 'hurry, hurry.....you need to get at least SOMETHING ready for the kiln!"

Which was how and why I ended up with so little pictures of the course. Anyway.....

This is my work station. There were in total 6 work stations at the work area. So, yeah, every session can only accomodate 6 people which I thought was a very decent amount of students. Anything more than that is probably a bit too crowded already although personally, when it comes to me teaching, I think 4 would be the ideal.

The work area. You can see evryone's concentrating on their work!

This is in another room adjacent to the work area. This is where the explanation and demonstration goes on before we return to the work area to work. All the pieces you see on the table are samples made from Art Clay.

My 'goodies pack'! =D

Work in progress......

And this.......

For some strage reason, my face looked so swollen here and my hair so flat..... -_-

Is Theresa Spears, who everyone fondly calls Terry, the instructor and owner of In The Studio. She has been making jewellery for at least the past 20 years and teaches I think almost 85% of the courses offered there.

This was the course that I had most fun! Well, apart from metal clay being a fun thing to work with, Terry was a super fun instructor! It's such a joy to be learning from her cuz she made the whole learning experience so much fun!

During lunch break, we walked over to a pub nearby for lunch and Terry was so nice to wait for me to walk with me since she knows that I have some walking disabilities. She'll always say to me 'Let's go, goldilocks!' before grabbing onto my arms and walk together.

And when I asked to take this picture with her, she went and grab her black cardigan just so to match with mine.

Ok, irrelevant info here but she's been such a warm person to be around with which makes the whole experience so heartwarming especially in the cold England weather!

Terry coincidently has been to Malaysia before. Well, Langkawi Island to be exact. Talking of which even I myself have yet to go there! But Langkawi is such a beautiful place which I've been wanting to go!

Langkawi Island

Ok, I'm going to digress a little to tell you a little more about Langkawi Island, particularly if you are non-Malaysian. As a matter of fact, I think some Malaysian may not even aware of this story.

This is a story I had already been told about since primary school. It's about the Legend of Mahsuri. I don't really remember the story in detail but it neverthless left a huge impression on me back then that I still remember it till this day.

Briefly, Mahsuri was a lady (princess?) who has been accused of adultery. She pleaded innocense but was convicted nevertheless. When she was about to be executed, she said that her blood will be white in colour to signify her innocence. True enough, the blood flowing from the wound thereafter was white and with her dying breath she cursed the island to have seven generatiions of bad luck.

Back then, white blood just sounded too fascinating to a kid! :P

But people somehow agreed that the legend might be a real story afterall because the island took a long time before it was finally developed into a tourist attraction in the 90s if I'm not mistaken.

I know Malaysia was still considered a developing country back then but as compared to other parts of Malaysia, the island was kinda slow.

Well, it's just bits and pieces of info I remembered vaguely lah.

Anyway, that was about Langkawi Island.

Back to Terry. Her words of wisdom that she gave me before I left. Roughly, this was what she said.....

'While others learn what one should do, you learn what one should not do and you'll know what mistakes to avoid in future."


If you've been following my posts on metal clay, you probably heard me talking about all the mistakes that I've made and how some of my pieces did not survived the kiln lor. :P

My of advice when it comes to attending courses like this is:

1. Read up on whatever it is that you intend to learn. When I said read up, I'm not talking about just briefly knowing what the media is about but if possible go into more details like the tools, technique or method of working with it would be very helpful.

2. Don't be too ambitious when working on something that you have only seen for the first time. Stick to the probably boring module projects suggested by the instructor. Bear in mind that time is limited here. You aim should be to pick up on the technique and not creating a masterpiece. I think this was my biggest mistakes in coming up with all those unsatisfactory and failed pieces.

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