Jewellery – creative use of precious metal clay with Christina Hirst


Ref: S3D12208

Book now

Places available

About this course

Explore the possibilities of precious metal clay using the organic forms and textures of nature as inspiration. You will be encouraged to develop your own ideas in this versatile material to create jewellery.

Course Description

This course will focus the unique properties of precious metal clay (PMC) in a creative way to make jewellery. You will focus on how precious metal clay can take on texture and be easily manipulated with basic tools. You will fuse other metals into the precious metal clay to create jewellery without soldering or making hollow forms.

This course is suitable for all levels, designed to enable complete beginners to produce jewellery and to demonstrate the interesting properties of precious metal clay to those with advanced knowledge of jewellery making.

Precious metal clay lends itself to organic forms and textures. You will therefore be encouraged to explore and develop your ideas using nature as the inspiration for your pieces. You will have the time to create a number of jewellery pieces, developing skills to texturise, model and carve the precious metal clay to form wire and sheet.

Once your pieces are fired, you will finish and patinate them.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • 17.8g of precious metal clay and up to 10g of fine silver.

What students need to bring

  • Please note 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, something to tie hair back if long

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sterling silver wire and sheet.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Extra Precious Metal Clay over 17.8g and fine silver wire in excess of 10g can be bought from the tutor for an additional charge. Christina will also bring to sell, extra
Please note: Practical clothing/apron/footwear for use in the workshop at all times. For example: no long loose sleeves or dangly jewellery and long hair must be tied back to avoid catching in machinery or gas flames. This includes stout covered footwear (no open toes or sandals).


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.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.