Thursday, 31 March 2011


Hi everyone, just to let you know the dates the studio will be closed over Easter:-

Monday 18th April (am) - Studio open

Wednesday 20th April - Studio closed

Monday 25th - (Easter Monday) - Studio closed

Wednesday 27th April - Studio closed

Monday 2nd May - Studio closed (Bank holiday)

Wednesday 4th May onwards - studio open

Best Wishes Chris

Friday, 25 March 2011

New Courses

Hi Everyone, we have some great courses lined up for you over the next few months with expert tutors in their fields and we are now taking bookings for:
Day one  - For those of you who are new to enamelling this will be an excellent introduction  - £80 to include materials click here for more details

Day two -   For those who have done Day 1 or have some knowledge of enamelling this covers more intermediate techniques like cloisonne and wet packing enamels - £80 to include materials click here for more details.   YOU CAN  BOOK BOTH DAYS FOR £150

COLOURING TECHNIQUES FOR ANODISED ALUMINIUM - Mandy Nash -  SATURDAY  4th JUNE, 2011 -  £55  (includes materials)
With the price of silver soaring perhaps now is the time to investigate more cost effective materials to work with.  Come and have a fun day with Mandy Nash.  She will show you how to  colour the pre-anodised aluminium and  then cut and shape it to create a piece of beautiful jewellery.  Click here for more details
CREATING 3 D FORMS WITH RESINS - Clare Johns - SATURDAY/SUNDAY 3RD AND 4TH SEPTEMBER, 2011 - £140 to include materials
For those of you who came to the 2 day resins course at Touchmark last year and loved working with resins this is another 2 day course which will focus on casting resins and mould making.  For those new to resins it will also be a fabulous introduction to working with this amazing medium.  Check it out here 

To book a place of any of the above courses please email

Hope to see you soon.
Best wishes

Chris Pate

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Ellie's Earrings

Thanks for posting the picture Lyn.  The earrings were made by Ellie Mills, a student studying Architecture at Cardiff.  If these earrings are anything to go by her buildings will be stunning!!!  Go get that degree Ellie!

Chris Pate

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Just had to show you this...

because I think it is fantastic work. 

These earrings were made at the last PMC course by a beginner.  The creator certainly has an eye for design and style, I think the world should see them!  Well done to the person who made them, can't wait to see what else you make as you develop!  I really did enjoy my PMC course (and the lunch provided... homemade bread and all, yum yum!)  I can only say my work wasn't like that in the beginning... not sure it is now! ;)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Big Secret!

Chris has been busy over the past few weeks keeping a big secret!

She has been part of a team of testers working on and testing a new version of metal clay - Sterling Silver!!! Lisa Cain of the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery and her people have been experimenting mixing different brands of clay to produce a sterling 925 version that can be assayed by the Hallmarking Office and also stand up to the more delicate designs that have previously been too fragile to produce in the existing fine silver clays and Chris was asked as a UK artist to test the clays and produce some pieces that would push it to it's limits.

No more details can be given at the moment but the results are going to be published in Metal Clay Magazine in a 9 page feature which will include recipes, tester's results and images of work produced in the new clay..... This is the first magazine dedicated solely to metal clay and to be in the first edition to be readily available in the UK (through WHS) is a real coup! Check out the blogspot and keep your eye on Touchmark's blog too. Just as soon as we get the green light more details and images will be posted.

I have a secret!

But I am not allowed to tell at the moment... it is killing me!  I can only say it is wonderful, exciting and oh so very fantastic!!!  You just have to keep looking back and I shall reveal all asap!!! (wow it's a real dandy to!!!)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Guess who!?

Yes, Lynn here again... Chris is really to busy at the mo so it has been decided that I will post on her behalf for a while, not sure if that makes you lucky or not but you can decide that for yourself! ;).  Anyway I digress.  I have acquired some photos of the last Traditional Jewellery Skills Workshop. I would have posted them sooner but we obviously had to get permission to show them.  The ring was made by my friend Micke who had no previous experience with sheet metals.  Micke started with PMC (as do most people) and I pursuaded her to book the Traditional course at the same time.  Needless to say she loved both!!!

Unfortunately for us Micke took the photos and therefore isn't in any of her so I can't point her out.  I have also met Ian on several workshops (he's really nice to), sadly I have yet to meet any of the others but will say hi to them here!

I did my course a year ago and really enjoyed it.  It was at a time in my life when I needed to do something and I am so glad I found Chris and the others.  You can attend the studios for Studio Days .  The website says on Wednesday afternoons but it is also open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings these days.  Chris is around for advice (and is very generous with her knowledge) and you get to work with like minded people.  I attend on Wednesday mornings (which sometimes flows into the afternoon if I have something on that I need help with)  I honestly couldn't live without those mornings now... I have made some really great friends and it has become more social than anything (mind you if you do come Wednesday morning you have to accept that one of the girls is terrified and I mean really terrified of spiders so we have to check the place out for her... oh well it passes the time!) 

I have to tell you that there is something exciting coming up... REAL exciting.  Can't tell you this time but do check back....
I am just waiting for permission to tell you! :D (oh I do hate secrets!!!) 
Till next time :D

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hello again, it’s me Lynn. Chris is just so busy I decided to post about our Forming Metals Workshop and show you some photos (taken by Micke on her phone, thanks Micke!) We had a wonderful time and learnt loads, I confess I had a fantastic time and could have spent the whole day there. It is a great thing to do if you are stressed out (or need to get rid of a bit of aggression). We studied T-folds, Anticlastic/Synclastic Raising, Fold ‘Forming and how to make hollow forms. I went to the open studio session yesterday with some more copper to have a go at a method I hadn’t had time to try in the workshop and found that each of us had had the same idea… everyone was ‘forming’ yesterday, lots of banging with the hammer going on; quite noisy I can tell you! Being at the studio also gave me the opportunity to get further advice from Chris, can’t be bad! The workshop was well worth the time and very low cost, it gets you thinking and extends your knowledge base giving you a much wider spectrum to work with. Our next workshop is Tube setting and collett forming for stones and application of gold foil to silver (Keumboo) Really can’t wait for that one, saw the stones yesterday and they are so very pretty! I should point out that because of Chris being ill the workshop schedule has changed slightly and I am sure the new one will be posted asap. If you are really eager to participate you can always contact Chris who will be happy to help and is always available to advise. The photos will give you an idea of the type of processes we tried. We started with a piece of sheet copper and as you can see did actually manage to form! I ask you to remember that the workshop had lots crammed into it… just to get ideas and the feel of different ways of working with metal so not enough time to produce fabulous pieces… but from what I saw yesterday they are well on their way!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Featured Artist in the Metal Clay Academy Newsletter!

WooooooooooHooooooooooooooo!  Chris is the featured artist in the Metal Clay Academy newsletter!!!!!!!!!!!!  Well I should say hi first (seeing as I have hijacked the blog)  I am Lynn, one of Chris's students, friend and fellow artist (well that's what Chris says... I think it would be more truthful to say I aspire to be like Chris)  Anyway I wanted you all to share in the wonderful news!  We all know Chris produces some wonderful work and it is fabulous to see that others feel the same.  It is quite an accolade (and proof positive that Chris is a true artist) that the Metal Clay Academy like her work enough to feature Chris and her work in their newsletter.  As Chris is too shy to blow her own trumpet I thought I would do it for her... someone has to!  I have enclosed the section which features Chris for you to see but have also included the link to the Metal Clay Academy and to the online version of the newsletter. 


Chris Pate has been working with metal clay since 2002, when she discovered it whilst in the middle of a four year metalworking course at Bristol College of Art. Up until that point she had found it challenging  to bring her organic designs to life with traditional metal smith techniques and
so PMC presented a whole host of new possibilities that were very exciting.

Since completing her metal smith training, Chris has taught metal clay alongside traditional jewellery making methods at her studio in Somerset; a job which she loves and feels very privileged to do, since it allows her to encourage others to find that sometimes 'lost art' of being creative.

Chris Pate. Masters Registery Entry

Very recently Chris has gained her level one in the Metal Clay Masters Registry, an international achievement of which she is rightly proud. Up until that point, she had been working predominantly with silver, occasionally adding gold for colour and interest, but she tells us that the Masters Registry tasks have challenged her to use different metal clays and processes that she would not ordinarily work with.
Master's Registry Syringe Project.  

When asked about her style, Chris says that this was something that gave her considerable angst at the start of her jewellery making career, since she felt that she didn't have a particular look.  However, as time passed and she started to understand what she liked and didn't like and how this influenced her designs, her style evolved naturally without too much effort. She describes her style now as elegant and classic saying that she never designs anything that she would not be comfortable wearing herself, a rule of thumb which she applies to all her work including commissions. She firmly believes that if you are true to yourself, your designs will come easily and you will enjoy the process far more than if you undertake to make pieces that don't fit your style.  

Masters Registry Syringe Project

However, that doesn't mean that Chris doesn't enjoy a challenge; participating in the Masters Registry and taking part in exhibitions stretches her technically and creatively and allows her the freedom to experiment without any commercial constraints. 

Experimentation she states,  is something that is crucial for an artist as well as being able to produce commercially viable work.

Chris has a wonderful purpose built studio which is only just across the road from her home and which makes her situation almost ideal. Her studio has evolved over the years and now has two floors, the downstairs area is a metal working studio with six jewellers' benches and the upstairs is a metal clay area with six workstations.  

Even though she lives just across the road from this perfect setup, she admits this can be a disadvantage and on non-teaching days she sometimes finds it a challenge to get to her workplace and start the creative process. When this happens she tells us that she reminds herself of a quote on her wall by Chuck Close which essentially says 'Get to work and ideas and inspiration will come out of that process!'. Chris says that this invariably gets her moving and once there, she finds it easy to get started and immersed in her work.

Her main challenge when working is not to over complicate a design. Chris admits that sometimes when she knows how she wants a piece to look it can technically become so difficult that the essence of the piece can be lost. That said, she loves the 'problem solving' aspect of jewellery making and happily divulges that she keeps a notebook by the side of her bed, because solutions generally come to her in the middle of the night! Getting stuck for ideas however, is not a problem she faces often, if ever. More often than not, it's getting the time to develop the ideas that frustrates her.

Chris's all-time favourite piece is something that was made after a difficult personal loss. Her beloved stepfather died after a long illness and Chris felt the urge to create something to commemorate the man whom she loved and respected so dearly. The result was a piece called 'The Tree of Life'; a brooch with its own stand, made from silver wire, gold and silver clay and sapphire drops. She says that this piece represented the gift of life her stepfather gave to others through his immense fundraising efforts.
Chris's Favourite Piece.

Chris's studio is always busy with a regular stream of students and like minded artists who use the space and she considers herself to be very lucky working in such a creative and positive environment. Whilst teaching takes up a considerable part of the week she also believes that it is important for any teacher to continue to design and make and she regularly exhibits and sells her work in shops and galleries. 

She loves the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the metal clay community and this and the dynamic advances in the field will ensure that metal clay will continue to play a major role in her studio and her jewellery making.

You can see more of Chris's work at her website and if you are in the Somerset area and interested in attending one her workshops, click here for more information.

Metal Clay Academy

I have included a picture of Chris's Bronze and Silver Sun box which didn't copy with the other part of the newsletter.  I have seen this in real life and it is stunning!