Enamelled Accents Workshop with Joy Funnell

Jean Dodds

What a ‘joy’ and what a wonderful workshop. Both beginners and those who had used Art Clay Silver previously I am sure will agree, it was a creative, fun filled and very informative day and Joy is a natural at teaching. So what did the day entail?

We started with Joy giving us the basic safety tips and telling us about the tools we would use and the amount of clay we would be using. She then went on to tell us about the clay and we watched as she demonstrated how to condition it by kneading it with her fingers. Joy then went on to demonstrate rolling out the clay, cutting and shaping it and gave precise instructions as she went along - then it was our turn.

I must admit she made it look so easy and Joy brought a new dimension to ‘baby wipes’, I didn’t realise how many uses they had; they covered clay to keep it moist, helped smoothed the edges of the clay before it was fired, cleaned pieces of clay off when mistakes had been made, and were ideal for just wiping wet brushes on them when moving overlay paste around.

We each conditioned our clay which was then covered with the baby wipe to keep it moist. We rolled out our piece of clay onto a non stick surface, again this was covered with the baby wipe to keep it moist. We chose some textured paper and lightly oiled the surface. The clay was then sandwiched between 2 sheets of this paper and rolled again. The paper left lovely patterns on the clay. We cut our shape using cake decorating cutters, or it could be done freehand. Some of us domed our piece by letting it rest over a small domed object, the back of spoons can be used and Joy told us she’d even used a light bulb to get the shape she wanted. Joy demonstrated how to add small stones into the clay by using a syringe to extrude some clay and then pressing the stone into it and some of us went off to try it out.

2011Autumn accent 1