Sunday, October 11, 2009

Silver Metal Clay Earrings

With the assistance of my husband, Bo, I created a set of matching earrings for the silver pendant I made yesterday.  I didn’t take pictures of the formation of the earrings as you have to work so quickly with metal clay before it dries.

CuringClay

Once the shape has been formed, I let the pieces sit until they have dried enough to move them.

DryingClay

I then put them on a rack to completely dry.  This lets the air circulate and saves me from having to remember to flip them.

Sanding

Once they are dry, I start the refining process, which includes sanding at grits from 600 to 2000 and using tiny files to get into areas the sand paper can’t reach (I didn’t take a picture of the filing as it takes two hands to do).

KilningClay

Then it’s into the kiln they go.  I fire Art Clay silver metal clay at 1292 degrees for 15 minutes. 

TheTools

The finishing process involves a wire brush, burnisher and polishing cloth (no pictured).

BrushingClay

First, I go over the piece with a wire brush to remove the white coating.  If you do not want a brushed finish anywhere on your piece or there are no crevices that the burnisher can not reach, you can skip the wire brush step.

BurnishingClay

Once the brushing is done, I go over the piece with a burnisher to bring out the shine.

BuffingClay

Then polish the piece with a jewelry polishing cloth.

SilverHieroglyphEarrings

Finally, I add any findings needed (here earring wires) and they’re done. 

SilverHieroglyphEarrings2

I also created another pair in a different style, but with the same basic pattern.

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