Aussie Metal Clay Featured Teacher
Cindy Aves Eckols
CERTIFICATION: LEVEL 1
In my earlier years, I was a Middle School English teacher. Teaching was my first passion. I loved seeing growth in my students. I even extended my education on the subject with a Masters in Educational Leadership.
My other passion has been rocks and gemstones. Even as a child, I collected rocks. That collecting lead to jewelry designing. After days filled with Middle Schoolers, my evenings were spent around a table making earrings and necklaces. Over time, my body started failing and I soon had to give up my time in the school system. I have battled a connective tissue disease for many years, and it had finally won.
I believe that our Lord opens doors when he needs to shut one, and my jewelry design was that door. I started designing more and learning more and more new skills. After taking a class on Soldering, I began working more with metals. Then I took a class in Silver Metal Clay because I was looking for more texture and more 3D design. I loved it. After several years of battling my health, once again I was looking for a change in my design and I found Kim Booklass on YouTube using Aussie Metal Clay. Metal Clay comes in colors! I contacted Kim and Aussie Clay and started this wonderful journey. Kim and Ros taught me the science behind metal clay and its wonderful properties. I learned about the kiln process and how it works to turn powdered clay into a solid sheet of silver, bronze or copper. Learning the science behind the process, helps me be a better designer and teacher.
With my first passion being teaching and my second being jewelry design, it makes sense to combine the two. Over time, I have taught jewelry classes and kumihimo braiding classes at a local bead shop. I have assisted new metal clay lovers in learning the kiln process through means of Skype and in person. I even own my own metal clay supply store on Etsy, Aves Design. I have been Certified Level 1 as an Aussie Clay Teacher. I would love to teach each of you about this wonderful clay and how it can expand your design abilities. I can teach through Skype for those of you not local. And for local students, I have a nice classroom setting available to book for larger groups (Flock of Five Art and Gifts Emporium in Sulphur, LA). I also will hold classes at this venue on a regular basis. I work with all of the Aussie Clays, Argentium, 999 Silver, 960 Silver, Bronze Clays and Copper Clays, so please reach out by my email.
Biography: After a career in Accountancy and Finance, I have finally realised my dream of having my own Arts and Craft studio. Since childhood I was fascinated with the world of Arts and Crafts and very eager to learn about the many aspects of the subject.
In 2006 I completed Silver Smith Diploma level 2. While completing my Silver Smith Diploma, I was introduced to Silver and other metal clays. After a few classes with various talented and inspirational tutors in metal clays I knew that this was the career I wanted to pursue.
In 2010 I completed my certifications as a senior Silver and Copper Clay instructor. Since then I have been teaching at my Studio and other venues at all levels. Introduction to Silver and other metal clays at: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. Following my qualifications I have attended many Master Classes with some of the best National and International Instructors using various brands of clay. I have acquired many other skills using related materials such as gold clay, enamels and resins.
Aussie Metal Clays came to my attention in 2016 when, by accident, I found the magnificent work of Kim Booklass. After we exchanged a few messages, I ordered some packets of clay and I was soon addicted to their soft textures and beautiful colours. After a couple of great Skype classes and online tutorials with Kim, I learned how to work with Aussie Clays Base metals and Silvers.
I have completed my level 1 Teachers certificate and I am working on my level 2. I also have a modest stock of Aussie base metals and Silver clays, as well as some other Aussie products which I sell in the UK to UK and European customers. I work and teach at my Studio in West Yorkshire (near Leeds) UK. If you would like a “Hands On” class with Aussie Metal Clays and work on level 1 pieces please contact me.