Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Metal Clay and Jewelry

So I finally got my metal clay (it's actually called Art Clay 650).  I'm glad I waited until today to write about my experience with it because if I wrote about it on Friday night, I would have had a lot of bad things to say.  It dries up extremely fast so when I attempted to make my first piece of jewelry (a ring) I couldn't roll the clay out with my hands quick enough to get it wrapped around the ring sizer without seeing a zillion little cracks throughout it.  I gave up on that task after about 15 minutes because I noticed that even the pack of clay I had wrapped in cellophane was drying up almost too much to work with.  Instead of giving up on the idea of this clay that I had so highly built myself up on I forced myself to make a simple charm:


I was happy with this and LOVED the way the metal looks after it's fired with a torch (which is my favorite part of the process of creating things with this clay).  It's shiny and gorgeous and holds whatever texture was in the charm when it was just dried clay.  I have always loved sterling silver jewelry and am ecstatic that I found a way to create fine silver jewelry of my own (it's .999 whereas sterling is .925, so the fine silver is a purer form of it).

I then tried out the molding compound I recently purchased and created a turtle charm:


This was made from a mold of a gold turtle charm I had.  

These two projects kept me up until 2 am Friday night (which isn't the smartest thing to do when you have an 11 month old who doesn't normally sleep past 7:30).  Since I'm a mom, I'm used to working at almost 100% on not enough sleep so Saturday I made a pair of earrings:


And a calla lily that was a request from a friend in Louisiana:



I made it to bed around midnight that night.  

Sunday I decided to try again with the ring making.  The few video tutorials I found online and received with my kit showed people rolling the clay with two flat and clear acrylic boards.  I didn't have these and couldn't figure out where to buy them so I improvised by using two plastic picture frames you can get at Joann Fabric for a dollar.  This did the trick, I was able to roll the clay and get it long enough on my first try to wrap it around the ring sizer and make my first ever silver ring:


It's one of those two ideas I had when I blogged about this clay previously.  It's a 'breastfeeding reminder ring' and the arrow indicates which side I should nurse my baby on next.  I made one out of polymer clay (a much flimsier and in my opinion more childish looking clay) and it helped me a great deal until it broke after a few days.  THIS ring has been perfect and I never have a problem remembering to flip it over after each nursing session with Jane.  The silver seems much stronger than I anticipated after reading that fine silver isn't as strong as other metals.

I also made a couple of other charms on Sunday that I haven't taken photos of yet.

On Monday night I made two other breastfeeding reminder rings, one for a friend in Denver who is breastfeeding (Donna) and the other for a cousin in law who is just starting out with breastfeeding her baby girl (she's finally past the 6 week mark so I really hope it starts getting easier for her).  I posted all three on Etsy as custom orders for other people to purchase since I want to make sure I can create a new ring for whoever might purchase one with the correct size.  Sizing is actually pretty difficult because this clay shrinks about 10% while it's being fired.  

So the first 20 grams of art clay (I always feel like I'm talking about drugs when I talk about the amounts I can purchase of this stuff) got me a semi-decent amount of jewelry.  I ordered my second 20 grams this morning.  I really hope it makes it here before Labor Day Weekend!  Now I just need to stop neglecting my classes that also started this week!

No comments:

Post a Comment