Lisa Cain is a Pioneering Innovator
Lisa is a working artist with a background in traditional goldsmithing and has
been teaching silver metal clay classes longer than anyone else in the UK.
Teaching jewellery is her passion and she has helped thousands of students
to reach their goals.
Lisa says, "When I'm teaching, there is a magic in the air and I know with absolute
certainty that I'm doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do.
Above all the accolades you read about below, the core of my life's work is the
human connection through inspiration and creativity which mean the most to me.
What a joy and a privilege!"
The longest established Independent Jewellery School in the land
Lisa founded The Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery in 2001, when there were only two independent jewellery schools in England.
MCSJ has a remarkable history of innovation in the jewellery field with an impressive array of achievements.
(We're only going to list a few of the highlights otherwise you'll be here reading all day!)
Within the first two years of starting the business, MCSJ rapidly grew to have the widest range of jewellery related classes
at any independent school in Europe.
Make Your Own Wedding Rings
Lisa was the first to offer a
Make Your Own Wedding Rings experience
for non-jewellers in the UK.
To date, she's helped over 300 couples
make their wedding rings.
MCSJ organised and hosted the inspiring 'Here and Now in the Jewellery World' conference at the Eden Project in 2005.
Guest speakers included Jinks McGrath, Tim McCreight and Greg Valerio.
This was one of the first conferences in the UK to publicly address the issue of sourcing ethical metals.
PMC Guild UK, Director
Whilst also growing her business in Cornwall, Lisa Cain was appointed Director of the UK PMC Guild in 2005 and ran the organisation for seven years.
During that time she wrote for the PMC Guild's magazine, organised the UK’s first metal clay conferences, curated several major European exhibitions and co-ordinated the first silver metal clay competitions for the UK.
Study with The Best
Lisa spent two years developing the first ever brand-neutral, criteria-based
metal clay training with the emphasis firmly on professional standards.
(Prior to this, silver clay training in the UK was discount-driven)
The MCSJ Silver Metal Clay Diploma remains the most thorough training
available anywhere in the world and is the only curriculum to include traditional
silver-work skills alongside the highest standard metal clay work.
With a growing reputation, Lisa was invited onto the Advisory Board for the Metal Clay Masters Registry to help devise, shape and test the curriculum of 50 projects.
She also founded the Metal Clay Academy which is now a resource, education and information website.
Saul Bell Design Award Finalist
Lisa's epic two-finger ring, 'The Great Escape' (left) was chosen
as a Saul Bell Design Award finalist in 2010.
(Photo by Paul Mounsey)
More inventions and innovations
Did you know Lisa Cain invented Sterling Silver clay?
In 2010 Lisa Cain produced the first ever fired pieces of sterling silver
metal clay, which was then Hallmarked by the London Assay office.
She produced this by mixing the right quantities of copper clay and silver clay.
It took a lot of trial and error to get the firing right.
After testing the clay with her team at MCSJ, Lisa's sterling clay recipe was given
to the entire metal clay community in a nine page magazine feature.
In 2010, the manufacturers had all claimed that it wasn't possible to produce
a viable sterling clay but Lisa proved them wrong and paved the way!
By the middle of 2011 a ready-mixed sterling silver clay became commercially available from the manufacturers.
The first ever distance learning course for jewellery
In 2012 MCSJ launched the world’s first distance learning jewellery qualification course.
Offering the MCSJ Silver Metal Clay Diploma as a Home Study in addition to learning in the classroom has enabled many hundreds of people to work towards this prestigious four-part credential.
World Record for Largest vessel ever made in Sterling silver Metal Clay!
Lisa Cain was hired in 2016 as technical advisor to assist
Cornish artist Rachael Osborne to successfully create the
largest vessel ever made in sterling silver metal clay.
Take a look at the MCSJ News page here to read the
nerve-wracking story of this epic bowl
Invited to speak at several jewellery conferences here and in the USA, Lisa and her company MCSJ are widely recognised as world leaders in education when it comes to silver metal clay combined with traditional silver-work skills.
Lisa has taught classes in many countries including America, Europe, and the Far East.
Lisa on the BBC
In 2017 Lisa was chosen by the BBC to teach silver clay to 6 novice students for the
Make! Craft Britain TV programme.
Her students were thrilled with their creations and the show was a great success.
The show gets aired again occasionally so check out the i-player webpage here
Cain Corners technique
The most recent innovation from the MCSJ pioneer is a brand new technique which
is set to revolutionise the way we create hollow forms, vessels and boxes in silver.
Lisa spent several years perfecting the idea, which is both simple and ingenious.
This new metal clay construction method was aptly named Cain Corners
by one of Lisa's mentors and the name has stuck.
You'll be able to take a class to learn this technique exclusively at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery starting in 2019.
If you don't want to wait that long or can't travel to us, you can order the Cain Corners tutorial now by sending us an email
Lisa has always made it a point to seek out and study with the greatest jewellers and metal clay artists available at the time,
often travelling across the globe to do so.
Many of these jewellery 'giants' became Lisa's mentors and she has worked alongside them as a teaching assistant in esteemed places such as Haystack, Penland and Arrowmont
MCSJ uses the motto 'Study With The Best', and it's partly because we like to practice what we preach.
Meet the Jeweller Blog features Lisa
Lisa has strong bonds with Cornish jewellery supply company, Kernowcraft and they
featured and in-depth interview with her on their popular blog. It's a great feature with
lots of photos of Lisa's work and detail of how she creates her amazing artworks.
You can read Kernowcraft's 'Meet the Jeweller- Lisa Cain' interview here
About the facilities at MCSJ
Our studio is in a fab location in magical Cornwall and is fully-equipped,
to help you acheive your goals.
All of our courses are residential, with wonderful accommodation
on site, so you can combine your class with a mini-break
and totally immerse yourself in the creative experience.
The classroom spaces are set up with teaching in mind but they also
have all the interesting, personal touches of an artist's studio.
This is where Lisa Cain creates her extraordinary art works and she'll
often share insights about whatever her current work process entails.
In addition to your class, you'll see a collection of amazing finished pieces on display alongside
the many projects awaiting Lisa's attention when she's not teaching.
It's a unique and inspiring creative environment, designed to support your learning experience.
The Magic of Cornwall
We stronly recommend you allow a couple of extra days around your class to enjoy the magical landscape of Cornwall.
Lisa recalls her first visit to Cornwall as a time she had a strong sense of 'finally arriving Home'.
She knows lots of secret places to visit and is happy to share her love of Cornwall with you.
Now you know a little more about Lisa and the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery
why not take a look at our class listings and
STUDY WITH THE BEST