Link to Silver Metal Clay Diploma Holders

Link to Higher Diploma Page



Q. Will the Diploma in Silver Metal Clay Proficiency allow me to get a discount when purchasing clay?

A. Ours is an independent qualification, which is not linked to suppliers or discounts. Our course focuses on the quality of your work; not financial incentives. However, there are a few suppliers who will offer a discount to our customers and we can provide you with a list of these during your class.

Q. Will this course teach me about PMC and Art Clay?

A. Our projects use the various types of silver metal clay (lump clay, syringe, sheet), both PMC and Art Clay. We don’t mind which brand you use because our classes focus on quality and craftsmanship.

Q. Do I have to pass all four Grades to get my Diploma?

A. Yes, the Diploma consists of four separate Grades. Remember that each of the four Grades stands alone as a significant achievement and you will receive a Certificate of Competency for each grade. Some people decide they don’t want the whole Diploma and just attend various Grades to update their skills so they gain their certificates but not their Diploma.

Q. I want to study for the Diploma but I don’t want to teach classes; is there an option for me?

A. Yes. We have developed another option for the Grade 4 of the Diploma, which will focus on Design and Construction. During this two-day class you will learn about the principles and elements of design. With this information in mind you will construct an advanced project to your own design and take part in a group critique of each persons work. This class will suit students who want to progress to a higher level in their artistic and technical abilities. There will still be a written test of your silver clay knowledge on both Grade 4 classes.

Q. I have already completed my Diploma but I would like to gain an additional Grade 4 to learn more about design and construction. Can I do both of the Grade 4 classes?

A. Yes. If you have already completed your Diploma and fancy adding Design and Construction to your qualifications simply sign up for the Grade 4 Design and Construction on line. You will get an additional printed Grade 4 Certificate as well as a second printed Diploma in Silver Metal Clay Proficiency for your wall. Students currently in the process of studying for their Diploma have the opportunity to achieve one or both of the Grade 4 qualifications.

Q. I'd love to study the Diploma but I can't travel to Cornwall. Is there another way I can get the Diploma?

Yes! You can study the Diploma at home. Our Home Study Diploma Grade Courses include all the materials you need plus DVDs of how to make the projects and the skills needed to work effectively with metal clay. Find out all about the Home Study Diploma here. Grade 4 will be launched in 2013 making the Diploma completely achievable by home study.

Q. How do I pass each Grade?

A. We have devised projects which will give you a broad understanding of working with metal clay and introduce you to a wide variety of techniques. Within each project you will have some design freedom. For instance everyone in class will make a pair of earrings but you have a wide choice about the size, shape and texture for your earrings. The assessment criteria are clearly laid out and given to you at the beginning of the class so you will know exactly what standards we are looking for when you are making each piece. During each Grade you will take home at least half a dozen finished silver pieces. You can see examples of what you will be making during each class on our website.

Q. What happens if my Metal Clay projects don’t pass the assessment criteria during the class?

A. It often happens that a piece doesn’t work out quite right and at home you can simply recycle your silver clay and make the item again. However in the classroom situation we have a lot of work to get through so because of time constraints it isn’t always possible to remake the piece to a high enough standard on the day. Don’t worry though; these projects don’t fail (we don’t use the ‘F’ word!). Instead they are ‘Held Over’ for resubmission. You will be able to remake or adjust items in your own time at home and post them to us after the class. The teacher will explain why the item is “Held Over’ and offer suggestions for improvement. Once your resubmitted items reach the assessment criteria standards we will send you the relevant Certificate.

Q. Is there a time limit for resubmissions?

A. Yes, the time limit for resubmissions is 18 months from the date you attended the class for the Grade that's held over. The reason we’ve introduced this deadline is to ensure that you act on what you’ve learned while the experience is still fresh in your mind. The tutor will tell you exactly what you need to do to pass for any pieces that don’t meet the criteria. Our experience has shown that the longer you wait to act on this, the more chance there is that you will struggle to meet the criteria. If you don’t pass the Grade within 18 months, you will have to come back and do the class again, paying the full price.

Q. Is there a charge for resubmissions?

A. The first resubmission is free but if any pieces still don't meet the criteria, any subsequent resubmissions must be accompanied by a cheque for £10 to cover processing and postage. We send your items back to you by Royal Mail Special Delivery which currently costs around £5 and we spend a lot of time carefully assessing your work, typing up the feedback, packaging and posting, etc. The £10 is therefore a contribution to these costs.

Q. What happens if I don't resubmit within the 18 month deadline or pass within that time?

A. You will be required to attend the class again, paying the full price.

Q. Will the teacher show me what to do?

A. For each project the teacher will first show you an example of the type of finished piece you will make. The teacher will then give you a physical demonstration of how to make your project, pointing out the important features along the way. You will also be given written notes describing the project so you can take these home with you.

Q. Is there a time limit to how long it takes me to attend the classes of the Diploma?

A. No, you can take the Grades over any length of time you choose but once you've attended the class for a Grade, you must pass it within 18 months. If you pass all the projects while you are attending the class, you'll get the Certificate for the Grade. If anything needs to be resubmitted, you must do this within 18 months of attending the class.

Q. Is all my Silver Clay included in the cost of the class?

A. The price of the class includes enough clay for all the projects you are expected to make but only if you don’t make large pieces. If you prefer to work large you will need to buy more clay. The teacher may have some supplies of extra silver clay for sale at the current retail price but we don't hold stock as a general rule. If you know you want to make larger pieces, please bring your own Silver Clay with you but do check with the teacher about the suitability of the clay before you begin.

Q. Why is the 10-day Diploma Intensive (Grades 1-4 in quick succession) more expensive than booking each of the four grades individually?

A. The best way to learn about Metal Clay is gradually and we offer a financial incentive for you to study this way. You will have a deeper understanding of how to produce quality work if you can attend one Grade then go away and work with those skills for a period of time before adding new skills. Ideally it might take you several months, a year or even more to complete the Diploma. As an incentive to learn gradually, the cost is lower for you to attend separate Grades over a period of time. Therefore if you choose to attend the Intensive course it is more expensive.


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