Saturday, November 10, 2007

Showing off time


Look what I made this week. I am very excited as it was my very first attempt at making silver jewellery from silver clay.

The heart that you see in the photo was "sulphurised" to create an aged effect. It's not very big. It's only about 1.5 cms in diameter.


The technique is to shape the silver clay into whateve
r form you want to use.The photo on the left shows what the clay pieces look like before they are fired. My designs are the small heart and the odd-shaped oval. The others belong to a friend who was keen to try it out as well and resulting in a beautiful pair of earrings and a pendant.

The trick that you need to master is to keep the clay damp so that it doesn't crack, wh
ich is something that I need more practice with. Shaping the clay is also more difficult that I thought, so again I would need to have a few more attempts to gain confidence.


After creating your piece of jewellery, you then need to let it dry out, either by baking in the oven or heating with a hair dryer. This process takes about 20 minutes. Once it's dried out, you can then fire the piece to solidify it into silver. This is normally done in a kiln. However, if like me you don't have one, you can fire the jewellery on a gas hob, a process which takes around about 5 minutes and which needs a gauze sheet to place on top of the flame as shown in the photo on the right. After firing, it is then cooled in water before it is polished.

Here you can see the heart on the oval background, which has a natural silver finish. I have since made them into a stunning pendant. What is amazing, is that they are actually 99.9% silver. It's great to have made this one-off piece. However, 21st C Dad is now worried that it could turn into a very expensive hobby at £18 for about 20g of clay, which is what I used for this project.

If you want to find out more, I have found a great website, where you can find more info. See www.silverclay.co.uk

2 Comments:

florries mum said...

You make me ashamed all the things you do.I think 21c dad ought to wear this on a leather thong round his neck.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hee Hee Florriesmum...don't be ashamed, as you work for a living. I am just keen to try my hand at the odd exciting thing before I too am forced back to the real world ;-D

And as for the pendant...having struggled with the design, there's no way I am handing it over to 21st C Dad, no matter how much I love him :-D