Frequently Asked Questions
the San Francisco Metal Clay Guild?
The SFBA Silver Clay Guild (SFBASCG) is a California non-profit corporation dedicated to educating artists and the general public about silver, gold, copper, and bronze metal clays. We have a Yahoo groups email list, hold bi-monthly meetings around the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and sponsor classes and workshops on metal clay and related topics. Come to a face-to-face meeting or visit us online at the SFBASCG Yahoo Group or the SFBASCG web page. The group was named when before the variety of metal clays now available on the market came out, so while our official name refers to "silver clay," we often substitute "metal clay" to affect current realities.
Where are the meetings held?
The meetings alternate among several locations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Check the current calendar for meeting dates, locations, and topics.
Cotati Community Center: Room #3, The Willow Room at the Ray Miller Community Center 216 East School Street Cotati, CA 94931; http://tinyurl.com/CotatiComCtr
Fort Mason, San Francisco: Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held in the Gatehouse. For a map and directions go to http://fortmason.org/directions/
Los Gatos Rec Center: 123 E.Main Street, Los Gatos 95030. For more information go to http://lgsrecreation.org
San Pablo: Mary Ellin's house San Pablo, CA 94806; http://medacreations.com/mapclasses.htm
Palo Alto Cubberly Center: http://tinyurl.com/CubberlyCenter (Room D1) or go to www.thecityofpaloalto.org and search for Cubberly Center
When are the meetings?
The meetings are held on the second Sunday of each month from 1 - 4 pm. During holiday periods the meeting date may be changed. Check the calendar and message postings on this SFBA Silver Clay Yahoo! group for exact dates.
How much does it cost to attend?
Please bring a small treat or drink to share. The first meeting you attend is free. After that we request you pay annual membership dues of $40 to cover the cost of meeting space, insurance, and operating expenses. Workshop fees are determined on a per workshop basis; details for workshops will be posted on the Yahoo! group site and at the SFBASCG web page. Special meetings are not included in the "one free first meeting" offer. The cost to attend special meetings will be posted with the meeting information (but is usually $10.00).
What are the membership dues used for?
Most of the membership money is used to pay for the meeting spaces, including rental chairs when necessary (for example at special meetings), insurance, postage, printing, and other small administrative costs. All labor is by unpaid volunteers.
How do I become a member?
Online membership to the group is free, but we have to pay for our meeting spaces, so people who come to meetings must make a membership donation to the group. The first meeting is free. After that, attendees must pay $10 per meeting or $40 for a full year membership. Click below to join:
How do I find out about silver metal clay classes taught locally?
Many members hold classes locally. Several local bead shops and adult ed centers also hold classes. Start by checking the files in the Education Folder. Other classes can be found by going to the websites of the local shops and recreation centers. Many are listed in the database (see below) and in the Teaching Facilities Folder. Or, use a search engine with the key words "silver metal clay CA" and "bay area" or a specific city or shop name. The SFBA Silver Clay Group will be holding workshops on specific topics. The workshops will be advertised in the message postings and in the Education file. Another way to find classes in your area is to search by region via the database.
How do I find out about business and photography classes for jewelry artists?
A listing of "Business Training" classes can be found in the database.
How do I find out about general metalsmithing classes taught locally?
Many adult education and community recreation departments offer beginning and advanced metalsmithing classes.
Typing "metalsmithing" and your city in a search engine will often get good results. Additionally, many bead and rock/gem shops teach specific metalsmithing skills such as cold connections, beginning soldering, etc.
Where do I purchase materials for working with silver metal clay? Are there
local suppliers people recommend?
Many of the members sell clay, tools, and other supplies. Several local shops also sell the materials. Please search this SFBA Silver Clay Yahoo! group for prior discussions on this topic before posting this question. Web sites that supply metal clay and related tools and materials are found by entering the key words "metal clay" or "art clay silver" or "silver metal clay" into a search engine. A list of suppliers can also be found in the Suppliers Folder.
Where can I find general information and detailed technical information, about
working with the two types of silver metal clay?
The websites pmcguild.com and artclayworld.com are excellent sources of both general and detailed technical information. The moderated MetalClay Yahoo Group is also a good source for information. Searches of past postings will answer many questions, and members are friendly and willing to answer new questions.
May I advertise services or products on this site?
The site is an open forum to share ideas, technical support and other information about working with silver metal clay. On this list we allow all email members to post class and classified "for sale" listings with links to more information. Frequency of posts should be reasonable (i.e., not too frequent).
Posts should be prefaced on the subject line with "[CLASS]" or "[FOR SALE]" so members who are not interested can easily delete or ignore the posts. "For Sale" listings are only acceptable for individuals selling excess or used craft & jewelry supplies and equipment. Companies or people in business selling craft and jewelry supplies may not post advertisements, though they can provide information on their products in the context of ongoing discussions.
You can also add a record to the database corresponding to the correct region at database. To advertise an individual class, please post a file to the Education Folder.
May I list or post a link to my website so others can view my finished pieces?
Yes, please go to the "Artists" folder at Links Folder and follow the instruction for adding a link.
I would like to share photos of my pieces and get feedback from local members.
Is it possible to do this?
Yes. Create a new folder in the Photos Folder If you'd like feedback, post a message containing the link to your photo folder and a request for the type of feedback you would like to receive.
I would like to demonstrate a technique at one of the meetings. How do I start
We rely on our members to give demonstrations and talks at our meetings. You can check for openings in the current year's calendar. Sometimes meetings can accommodate two presentations, so if you are really hot on a topic, we may be able to fit you into the current schedule. In the last quarter of each year, we ask people to select and volunteer to present at meetings. To reserve a spot or request available dates, contact the SFBASCG secretary, Olivia Competente.
the following statement mean: "The SFBA Silver Clay Group is
a local chapter of the PMC Guild" ? Are Art Clay Silver artists welcome
The group was started independently, but quickly became a local chapter of the national PMC Guild. The association with the national group brings benefits such as an established web presence for our local chapter on the site www.pmcguild.com. The PMC Guild is an incorporated international members organization created to support research, training, and support for Precious Metal Clay artists. The views and opinions here are not necessarily those of the PMC Guild.
Art Clay Silver artists are welcome to participate in all SFBA Silver Clay Group functions. Many members use both PMC and Art Clay Silver. We are not currently a chapter of the Art Clay Society due to ACS organizational requirements and the structure of the SFBASCG. We fully support the Art Clay Society mission and goals and consider ourselves a sister organziation.
With the addition of bronze and copper clays, we have expanded our mandate and interest to anything and everything to do with any metal clay, regardless of brand.
When trying to access some of the links on this page I am sent to a Yahoo!
sign in page. Why?
You must be signed in to access some of the files on the Yahoo site.