Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Spring Line

My new spring line is all about local wildflowers. I'm using a new technique to make originals. In the past I have sculpted my originals for metal clay out of beeswax or polymer clay. The original for the mold this piece was made with was sculpted with copper clay. This was my husband's excellent suggestion when I was expressing frustration with my other methods for making originals because I wasn't getting the exact details I wanted and the polymer clay had a strange texture that showed in my metal pieces. He asked me if I could get the details I wanted with the copper clay. I realized that I could and began using it to make originals.

To make the original for the pictured piece (Shooting Stars) I rolled out a piece of copper clay 3 cards thick. I then used a "cookie cutter" to cut a circle. I then rolled out a new piece of copper clay 2 cards thick and then I cut all the individual flower components out of it. I attached them to the original circle with copper clay slip (homemade from scraps and tap water). I set the piece to dry on my warming tray in the interior curve of a soup spoon to get a concave affect. When dry, I filed and sanded until satisfied that my piece was ready to be fired. After it came out of the kiln I tumbled it for 1/2 hour in my Lortone tumbler. I then used Liver of Sulpher to add a dark patina and polished with polishing paper to a fine shine. I then used the copper original to make a silicone mold and I am using that mold to make both copper and silver pendants. For matching earrings I make two molds of a silver pendant to shrink it slightly so that my earrings are smaller than my pendants.

I'm very happy with this new method because I am getting cleaner originals with crisp details. They look just as I imagined them and I'm enjoying wearing the pictured piece as I type.