Today, Aaron and I went to a silver clay workshop. As total beginners to this we really had no idea what to expect. However, after a few hours of solid tutelage we had a much greater appreciation for the work that goes into those lovely silver pieces that you see around.
It starts out looking like a Chiclet-sized piece of white clay but after firing it and the organic binders burn off (non-toxic) and after you put some care and patience into burnishing and polishing you have a lovely piece of almost pure silver. Amazing.
The tools required to achieve this aren't too dear, the major cost being the silver clay. However, if you have something special in mind and you want to make it yourself, it is a very reasonable thing to try. Above, you see the results of my effort. Not sure what I will do with them, but I am pleased.