My spine is back in working order.
Last October I took a precious metal clay workshop at Not Simply Beads in Plymouth, MA. The 6 hour class was very reasonably priced, included a pack of 28g silver clay and also allowed future projects to be fired at the shop free of charge provided the materials were purchased at Not Simply Beads. My class - in which I was lucky enough to be the sole participant - was taught by Nicole Blanchard, a talented artist formally trained as a fine jewelry maker and co-owner.
Between not having suitable studio space to work in and a deep intimidation of the fairly costly materials, it's taken me a while to get my feet wet and produce. Finally back in my studio - having a bit of a squirrel problem though - I'm happy to say I finally dropped off two pieces to be fired and am really excited to see the outcome.