Metal Clay – Tangible Moments

Metal Clay – Tangible Moments: Capturing the beauty of Nature in Metal – Judi Talley

Wildacres – September 16-22, 2019

In this class, I will introduce you to the fascinating medium of metal clay and demonstrate how every day moments in nature can be captured permanently in metal. While all levels of metal clay interest is welcome, I will be concentrating on capturing natural forms. Using gathered plant materials, we will make one fine-silver pendant, then expand into the alloy clays of bronze and brass, to experience the differences (and understand the challenges) between working with different alloys. We will also experience the wonder—and joy—of capturing leaf and vine into fine clays and finally into functional and beautiful pieces of jewelry. All levels of expertise are welcome to attend. You may bring your own tools if you wish, but don’t feel like you have to bring anything but yourself!

Your lab fee covers:

  • use of tools—including cutting mats, rollers, spacing cards, textures and stamps, use of firing vessels, warming tray, and charcoal, as well as kilns
  • all the tools for finishing—including filing, sanding, and buffing materials
  • introductory packets of fine silver and bronze clays
  • mold-making material for creating a personal, permanent mold
  • a list of my favorite hints, tips, and resources to help you outside the classroom


You may bring extra clay, either silver or alloys, and more clay will be available to purchase in class. If you plan to bring your own clay, please let me know which brand/alloy to make sure it will be suitable for scope of the class. Expect silver clays to run approximately $2/gram and bronzes or brasses to run $16 for 50g.

As class approaches, I will be contacting everyone with specific material we will be using and optional materials that would suitable to bring if desired.

Lab Fee: $75

Estimated materials cost: variable

Prerequisites: none

Judi Talley Bio-

I am a native East Tennessean, raised in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Nature has always calmed and centered me. Throughout my life I have attempted to capture the essence of the natural world in many different media: paint, ink, beads, carving. My introduction to metal clay opened a whole new world to me allowing me to translate ephemeral moments of nature’s beauty into tangible and enduring works of art.

I hold a degree in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee, and though I’m retired from that field, the engineer and researcher still lives in me, driving me to understand the why as well as the how. I am a Metal Clay Instructor, certified by Art Clay. I am a member of the Metal Clay Guild of East Tennessee, the Embroiderer’s Guild of America (Tennessee Valley Region), a juried member and current board member of the Foothills Craft Guild and member of Tennessee Craft.