Wednesday, 28 July 2010

silver metal clay adventures

Major excitement here! I've just made my first ring using silver metal clay and it must be beginner's luck because it has come out pretty much exactly how I hoped!! I am beyond pleased!!

The gorgeous lampwork bead was made by the very talented Julie of Lush Lampwork. I'm not sure my work could ever really do it justice but when I saw the bead on her website I knew just what I wanted to make. The colour and texture reminded me of sea glass and the ocean in general.

I had seen a project I wanted to try in a fantastic book by Kate McKinnon and the ring is based on this. This is by far the best book I've seen on metal clay and goes into great depth about the material and working practices, and uses silversmithing techniques too.

The book helped so much and I learned a lot just from this one project. This was the first time I'd attempted to make a rivet which was exciting and just a bit scary when I had to cut the wire to less than 1mm before hammering it flat on the top. I made a little flower shaped washer with a dotty texture to go underneath.

There was a bit of guess work involved when it came to making it the right size for my finger. I thought that it would still be way too big after being fired, even accounting for the shrinkage so I just couldn't believe it when it slipped onto my finger perfectly! How lucky!! Definitely beginner's luck I think.

I have also fired the sage leaf from the last post. Here it is straight afterwards. It has oxidation on the surface which has to be removed with a soft brass brush before finishing.

I think I'm falling in love with the whole process. I just can't help but get excited about possibilities of this material! It is like alchemy!