I was absolutely delighted today to find out that I've passed my Silver Art Clay Higher Diploma (Level 3). There are only just over 100 in the UK who have passed and I'm honoured to join the group.
I have to say that I approached Level 1 in April with a huge amount of trepidation and anxiety - more a fear of the unknown I think - but it was good to have a friend, Nicola Beer, on the same course. We were surprised at the intensity of the course and at the end of the 2 days were wiped out. It didn't put us off though and we both attended the Level 2 a few months later. That was much harder and one project (combining copper and silver in a pendant) was the bane of my life. Again, it hit us how technically challenging it was. I was SO grateful that I'd had time to practice between the two levels. A few ladies on our Level 2 were doing them back to back and I had to admire their stamina.
Level 3 is a completely different ball game though. You have to design your own pieces BUT have set criteria - for example you have to make a brooch that has to contain open syringe work and a pendant that has a 70% mirror finish etc etc. In total you make 3 pieces, a ring, a brooch and a pendant and then send them off and keep fingers, toes and eyes crossed.
If you pass Level 3 (also called the Higher Diploma) you are afforded the title of Art Clay Qualified Senior Instructor and can teach levels 1, 2 and 3! I have to say that it's not for the faint hearted but if you want to teach others it's an absolute necessity.
I've not posted photos of the work I submitted before, but here they are now!