Saturday, November 7, 2009

Silver Metal Clay Hummingbird Pendant

My friend, John, asked me to make him a pendant inspired by his wife, Jill.  He calls Jill “hummingbird”, so that was my ‘focal point’ for the design.  My first thought was that I would cheat and find a hummingbird charm and mold it for silver clay.  Well…hummingbirds are not the subject of small charms now days.  So…I had to do the whole thing from scratch!  Hope he likes it!?!?!

I started with scrap polymer clay that I formed into a rough shape, baked and carved into a hummingbird…or at least my version of a hummingbird.


Then I used the polymer carving to form a mold with Sculpey Mold Maker.  Pretty simple…smash the carving into the mold material, bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes, remove carving.


The next step was to oil up the mold with olive oil, put the silver metal clay in and let dry.


Once the hummingbird dried, I removed it from the mold…gently.  I sanded and refined the hummingbird.  I rolled out some silver clay to a 3-card thickness and used cutters to punch out the larger circle and the hole.  I let the disk dry, then stamped Jill’s name and used a dremel to carve it out.


The final prep step was ‘gluing’ the hummingbird to the front of the disk with metal clay paste…and let dry.


The final piece was fired at 1292 degrees for 15 minutes in the kiln.  Then came the several hours spent burnishing it.  I couldn’t decide whether to do a brushed back ground or shiny…so I did both…several times.  Here is the front and back of the final pendant.



di from di-did-it said...

WOW! This is beautiful! You did a stellar job creating your own hummingbird from poly clay... so much better than store-bought machine-made. What a precious gift. And I like how you walked us through each step in the process. It's inspiring. APPLAUSE!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!