Writings by Julia...
- TIPS : Julia's Top 10 Tips
- ARTICLE : Metal Clay Training, Classes & Workshops
- ARTICLE : Metal Clay for Beginners
- ARTICLE : How to Deal with Difficult Students & Situations
Julia Rai has been working with metal clay since 2004 and teaching it since 2007. She holds the MCSJ Higher Metal Clay Diploma, PMC Certification from Rio Grande and is an Art Clay Senior Instructor. She also holds the City and Guilds 7407 Further Education Teaching Qualification. She regularly teaches a variety of subjects for several jewellery schools in the UK, including unique textures for metal clay, metal clay lentil beads and complex hollow forms, Art Clay Level 1 and 2 Certification and the Silver Metal Clay Diploma.
She is the Director of the Metal Clay Academy, an independent, online resource for all things metal clay and allied subjects. It has no brand or supplier affiliation and is totally unbiased. It has hundreds of pages and includes listings for teachers and suppliers, links to resources including video tutorials, downloadable and web based tutorials and projects for all levels. There's a business section with links for people who want to make metal clay their business. Some information about design and creativity and a very important area for beginners to metal clay including what it is - in all its forms - and how to start small and cheap. The ‘What’s New’ page is the most visited and is updated daily.
She is the webmaster for the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery and is a regular contributor to Metal Clay Artist Magazine and Making Jewellery Magazine in the UK.
Julia’s work has been featured in the PMC Guild Annual and The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar. She was on the jury that selected the work for inclusion in the Calendar for 2011. Her work was included in the Crafthaus New Directions: Powder Metallurgy (Metal Clay) in a Sheet Metal World book. She has exhibited her work at the UK PMC Symposium 2009, the PMC Conference Cultural Messages Exhibition 2010, the Bead Dreams Exhibition 2010 and 2011, and on the Metal Clay Masters Registry website. She was a finalist in the prestigious Saul Bell Design Award Competition 2011 in the Metal Clay category and she won first prize in the metal clay category of the British Bead Awards in 2011.
Her spare time is currently taken up with working on projects for the Metal Clay Masters Registry and she was the first person in the world to achieve Registry IV.
Awards and Exhibitions
- Bead Dreams juried competition – Silver and gold pod ring won first place in the Metal Clay category, on display at the Bead and Button Show, Milwaukee WI, USA.
- British Bead Awards – first prize in the metal clay category with enamel and pearl earrings.
- The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar 2011 – enamel and pearl earrings included in this juried publication.
- Crafthaus New Directions: Powder Metallurgy (Metal Clay) in a Sheet Metal World – several pieces of work included in this juried publication.
- PMC Guild Annual 2011 – Saul Bell finalist piece included in this juried publication.
- Saul Bell Design Awards 2011 - finalist in the Metal Clay category.
- The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar 2011 – nesting rings featured on the back cover.
- Bead Dreams juried competition – Metal Clay and Acrylic Brooch won third place in the Metal Clay category, on display at the Bead and Button Show, Milwaukee WI, USA
- PMC Conference juried Exhibition, Cultural Messages: Symbolism Through the Ages – Mandala Box and Dresden Codex Bead chosen for the exhibition running May 17th – August 6th at Purdue University Gallery, West Lafayette, IN, USA
- PMC Guild Magazine – Fusion. Featured artist, cover picture and three page article with images.
- PMC Symposium, Bristol UK – Masters Registry work displayed.
- PMC Guild Annual 2009: Exceptional Works in Metal Clay – Spoon with Keum Boo featured on the back cover and inside.
- The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar 2010 – Dresden Codex Bead featured on the front cover
2008 – Present
- Work displayed on the Metal Clay Masters Registry Website in the Meet the Masters section.
I’ve always been ‘crafty’ and enjoyed creating things from knitting and crochet to sculpting and embroidery. As a teenager in the late 60’s, I made necklaces using dried melon seeds which I thought were the height of fashion at the time! I took a weekend beginners silverwork class at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery in 2003 as a birthday present to myself. On that class I first found out about metal clay and everything just took off from there.
Metal clay has held my interest because it allows me to very quickly realise ideas. And I really love the fact that you can spend hours building something, find it doesn't work or you don't like it and chop it up and start again. All you've lost is time.
I’m inspired by things I see in history and also in science fiction and fantasy. My sketchbook is never far away when I’m watching TV or a movie as shapes, use of colour or texture catches my eye and I have to record it. My favourite artist is Roger Dean and his work is a constant source of inspiration. I have a number of his picture books and flick through them for ideas.
The Masters Registry has also been an inspiration. I would never have thought of adding plastic to my fine silver work without the specific Masters project. The metal clay and plastic brooch has become one of my favourite pieces and got 10 out of 10 from the evaluators. I’m currently experimenting with combining other materials with metal clay and I hope people will be interested and inspired by what I present in years to come!