Precious metal clay – earrings or brooch with Christina Hirst

Ref: S1D13084

Location: West Dean

About this course

Create a pair of earrings or brooch using precious metal clay and simple wire forming techniques.

Course Description

Make a pair of earrings or a brooch inspired by nature as you are introduced to the creative use of precious metal clay (PMC). The project is designed to enable not only complete beginners to produce a piece of jewellery, but also demonstrate the interesting properties of PMC to those with more advanced knowledge of jewellery making.

You will focus on one aspect of precious metal clay: its ability to be fused onto wire structures to create whole pieces without the need for soldering. Using simple wire forming techniques, you will construct sections for a pair of earrings or a brooch to which you will then add precious metal clay. Once fired, the pieces will be finished using simple techniques, such as burnishing and patination.

Precious metal clay lends itself to organic forms and textures and you will be encouraged to explore and develop your ideas using nature as the inspiration for your pieces.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • 7g of fine silver precious metal clay and wire necessary to make pieces.

What students need to bring

  • Natural inspiration, flowers, seed heads, etc.
  • Sketchbook with possible ideas
  • Pens and pencils
  • Basic jewellery tools, pliers, wire cutters and wax modelling tools, but only if you have them
  • Apron, suitable shoes (with enclosed toes), something to tie long hair back

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Silver can be purchased from the College Shop which stocks a range of sheet, wire, rod, tube and findings. These will be available in set sizes and lengths suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • A good variety of art and craft materials including sketchbooks, pens and pencils etc.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Extra precious metal clay over 7g and fine silver wire in excess of 20cm can be bought from the tutor for an additional charge.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). There may be possible equipment restrictions in the absence of the tutor.


Christina Hirst

Christina Hirst is a jewellery designer maker based in Edinburgh. She trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) gaining a Master of Design by research, for a study of the then new material, Precious Metal Clay. For the last 10 years she has taught on the Jewellery and Metal Design degree course at DJCAD.

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in metalwork?

Our Foundation Degree in Metalwork will enhance your employment prospects, give you the skills to set up as a self-employed craftsperson or allow you to continue to higher education. Encompassing both silversmithing and blacksmithing, you will learn practical skills, material properties, placing your work in a broader context and historic metalworking techniques. Find out more