Rings & Things (Metal Clay Class ~ Part 2)

Here are two simple pieces which I learned to make during my first two lessons. I designed a simple loop ring, with slightly curved taped band n satin finish with a prong-set synthetic green gem and a the leaf was a class project. The ring didn't really turn out as perfect as I want it to be. But I guess it'll do for a beginner.

Each piece takes more than half a day to make by hand without the help of machinery. I enjoyed making the leaf most. It takes patience and a steady hand as the leaf is composed by a repetition of carefully placing layers of soft clay on a real leaf and drying process. It may sound easy, but you need to find the right technique to form these layers in order to get a strong & solid piece. I love how this technique was able to capture the shape, curves & reveal the fine details on the leaf after firing and finishing. I decided to leave most parts of the leaf in brush matte finish and only shine up some parts around the edges and in the curved parts of the leaf to capture light like a real leaf would. I have not decided what to do with the leaf. This technique, possibilities of using other base materials started popping up in my head. I might try to make a lace necklace next.

Having done basic traditional jewelry metal smithing years ago, and now working with metal clay, I would say it's more tedious to create the same pieces shown here using the traditional method. The finishing process however is about the same. You still need to get your hands dirty, brushing, burnishing, filing, sanding & polishing to achieve a professional look. So ladies, forget about manicures if you are serious about taking up a metal clay course!

In the next lesson I will be learning how to create some interesting hollow filigree beads. I can't wait...


vozzek69 said...

Let me tell you something, you did AWESOME for a beginner! I was using PMC from the very beginning, before they came out with PMC3+ which is a lot more workable and less dry.

Everything I made cracked for a very long time, and it was hard to create jewelry with smooth curves like you did. So great job!
wall decals

OpusMuse said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I worked with art clay which I heard is a little different from PMC. Now that you mentioned, I do find art clay less workable, it dries out pretty quickly.

It wasn't that smooth sailing making this ring. It broke twice, once during green stage & once after fired. Repaired & file bit by bit to achieve that shape. Still, I wished it was better. Your comments are so encouraging. Where can I see your work?