Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lots of Jewelry

I'm feeling confident about all the jewelry I've had to make and have ready before the end of this week. I got my first experience with the white bronze clay from Hadar. I was, at first, most nervous about the process it would take from powder to clay (which is something I have to do by adding filtered water until I have a consistency I like). I was super impressed with how easy the clay was to work with, but I wasn't super impressed with out it dried. There were a couple of cracks in the dried form, but the stability of the finished piece was still satisfactory. I will have to keep experimenting with it to see why it did that to me (it isn't something I've seen other people experience yet...and I've read every blog I could find on the stuff). One of the consistent issues I saw people have didn't happen until after they fired their pieces. Apparently getting the clay to sinter properly is the biggest problem. Luckily, I didn't actually start using the stuff until almost 2 years after Hadar first introduced it, so I benefited from every other user's trial and error and got the firing right on the first try (I was SO worried about this after reading everyone's horror stories). I just followed the instructions provided by Hadar (raised the temperature slightly from the suggested 1275 to 1290, since the consistent issues I read about involved the pieces not sintering, rather than overfiring). And, like I said, my pieces turned out great. I fired 4 keychains shaped in the dog tag style:

After finishing those, I made my 6 silver charms. One of which is a custom order. The customer wanted footprints on both the front and back of a charm and I gladly accepted the order (I made a front and back charm about 8 months ago, the front was a butterfly and the back was the fingerprint of a little girl--that charm turned out great). So the way I did it was:

Made one side (footprints and the initial of the owner of those feet), let that side dry, realized I could have just made the other side at the same time, so I made the second side (separately) and let that dry as well. When they were both dry and sanded down, I used some silver paste on the insides of each piece and sort of glued them together that way. I then let that dry again and sanded it even more...fired the joined pieces in my kiln so they'd become one silver piece and this is how it turned out:

Side One:

Side Two:

And it's like a little silver medallion, which I love. I am totally doing this for myself after baby girl #2 is born. I CAN'T wait for all the jewelry I can finally make after she's born...I'm saving a lot of things because I want to make sure I'm done having babies before I make them. Like my book charm:

Okay...that's enough jewelry talk for one day.

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