February 27, 2013

Tutorial - Fine Silver Earrings

One of the techniques for working with metal clay is to press it into a mold.
The main advantage of this technique is repetition - with is great for duplicating the same design over and over again.
The mold can be made out of any object, and also your own design. These designs can be carved out of wax, pressin a metal prototype, shaped using polymer clay etc.
I work with Art Clay Silver, wthich is easy to handle, shape and burn at home.

I pressed soft silver clay into my mold, and waited for it to dry. 

work stages (left to right): mold - silver clay - fine silver piece

My long experience with the material tought me I should let it to dry completely. My patience paid off, and the next day I burned the pieces over a net on the gas stove in the kitchen.
After firing and filing corners, I blackened the pieces - now pure silver - using liver of sulfur, then smoothened the relif with sandpaper and polished with a burnisher.
All that's left at this stage is to assemble the earrings: adding the beads and the hook.

fan earring - fine silver with rose quartz

These earrings are "little siblings" to a pendant I made last year:

"big brother" - fine silver pendant with rose quartz and sterling chain