Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cut, Dried, Fired and Burnished

I had the pleasure of attending a silver clay workshop with a handful of other crafty minxes at Pam Annesley's studio in Two Rocks, and I loved it! I wish I had done a little bit more research on what you can do with the clay beforehand, though, to maximise the time I could spend working on the clay instead of thinking and planning and wondering and second-guessing. Anyway, we had a blast and will definitely do it again some time.

Some of the tools: cutters, texture sheets, moulds, rollers, oils (for preventing sticking), playing cards (for assessing the thickness of the rolled out clay) and polymer clay (for practice).

I don't have any photos from us actually manipulating the clay, so we hop happily along to drying the pieces in the dehydrator:

Once dry, the pieces get filed and any necessary holes drilled. The drilling is a touch hair-raising, as the clay is quite brittle at this point.

The dry clay is then fired, either in a kiln or by torch. By the magic of heat, the clay turns silver. It still looks white, though...

...until you brush it! And burnish it!

You can also add some patina.

My creations are below: the gingerbread pendant with cubic zirconia (which can also be fired); the gingerbread earrings; the freeform pendant with half -texture. This one was the last one I made, and because I had handled the clay a few times the surface bubbled on firing - it was unintended, but the pendant actually looks quite funky and is my favourite of the ones I made.

(Seriously, think about it: silver jewellery. That. I. Made.)

No comments:

Post a Comment