One woman's adventures in the land of hand made jewellery

Monday, 4 April 2011

Silver Clay Delight Part II

Well I finished my four week Art Clay course and, though I say it myself, am extremely pleased with the results. Here are my final three pieces:
Twig Brooch with with blue stones

Initial Pendant with a pearl

Snake Ring  (apologies for the fuzzy picture)

The Twig is the one I'm proudest of even though it is not something I would wear. It caused me heartache when it broke not once but twice during its creation, making me realise how fragile unfired clay is. Fortunately the rough bark-effect meant it was easy to mend with clay paste and completely hide the repair. I love the bark effect which was achieved by applying clay paste to my rolled out sausages with a toothpick! Carving out the dried clay to insert the brooch parts was tricky and required not only a steady hand but a certain amount of engineering skill to ensure everything would be lined up when the pin was added after firing. I loved the challenge.

All three of these were fired without the stones in their settings. The pearl was particularly fiddly to slot into its position on the wire stem that I'd inserted into the wet clay, a reminder that you have to think through the design and assembly before making it. And during firing I almost ruined one of the settings on the brooch by heating the fine silver a little too much causing it to melt a bit. Alls well that ends well and there was just sufficient to push around the stone without resorting to the superglue!

It was good too to have Patricia and Rose join me for the last couple of weeks, if nothing else it reminded me of how far I'd come and we were abel to bounce ideas off each other too. Rose had done some silver clay work using PMC previously and Patricia is a silversmith used to working with the solid metal. However now I'm on my own I'm a little nervous that I won't be able to achieve the same quality of workmanship without the watchful eye of tutor Lisle. I have some ideas and am currently thinking through how to approach them (one good lesson I learnt from the past four weeks). Hollow patterned beads, a pendant with a diamond set into it and a star fish are potential candidates for my next project. I just wish I could draw!