Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back of the Pendants...

See I put my JBK and fine silver mark (.999) on the back.

They look rough but that's what I like so much about metal clay :-)

The Finished Pendants/Charms

I'm very happy how these turned out. They are a great size to use as an ID charm on the kitties collars... If they wore them. They are
indoor only rascals so no need for neckwear... Although I'm sure
disserning wee kitty fashionistas out there would happily wear them.

I've managed to send this post from my iphone! Woot woot to me! I love technology!!!!

A picture of the backs is coming up next.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paw Print Pendant/Charm - The Beginning

The picture to the left is of the two pendants slash charms I made this evening. One "finger" print from Bella and one from Alvin.

Bella (the tortie) and Alvin (the ginga) are my kitties (see below right pic). Well Alvin is my part time kitty and Bella's playmate for a few days at a time. If they spend too much time together one gets crazy and one gets cranky. Alvin is crazy and Bella is the cranky one. Bless my precious Bella she loves her alone time with Mummy, and having her house all to herself. Dear Alvin just makes himself at home and kicks Bella out of bed.

Getting back to the pendants/charms. These are still wet, and look a bit messy (perhaps it's the not so hot photography). Tomorrow night when they are dry I will file and finish the edges and then fire them with the little torch. Gotta love the butane!

Ciao for now!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What is this Metal Clay stuff anyway?

Metal Clay is a pure silver metal powder combined with non toxic organic binder and water. It feels like clay, looks like clay but when fired, the binder burns away, leaving pure, 99.9% fine silver.

Metal Clay comes in lump form, as a paste (in a syringe), a slip (in a pot) and as "paper". Each type lends itself to different uses and effects, and all can be combined in the one project.

Raw Metal Clay can be rolled, sculpted and shaped easily with fingers and other simple tools.

When it is dry it can be sanded, filed, engraved, drilled and pre-polished.

Once it has been fired it can be treated like any other pure silver. File it, shape it, burnish it and give it a patina. Perhaps you wish to set a stone in it or maybe enamel or glass, go ahead, do it, the possibilities are endless. And this is why I love the stuff.

Metal Clay also comes in gold, bronze and copper variants, each with their own unique finishes and methods of firing.

Thanks for reading.

Metal Clay Pendant

This is a pendant I made a couple of weeks ago.

  • 22mm x 25mm
  • Liver of sulpher patina

I wore it today on the ribbon necklace. I think it looks nice.

I'll be making more of these with different patterns.

Simple but effective.

Thanks for reading.

Silversmithing 101

Ok. These two pieces were made in my silversmithing workshop (an entire exhausting weekend!).

First came the ring. Technically not first, first. First we spent a good 3 hours learning to cut straight lines, zigzag lines and wavy lines in a piece of brass with a jewellers saw. I lost count of the number of blades I broke...

Then came the ring, we spent the evening measuring, shaping and filing. So first real project but not first thing to learn in the class :-)

On day two came the pendant, after more broken saw blades and a few cut fingers...oops! Once the bleeding stopped it was pretty smooth sailing!

Our teachers were fantastic with a combined 90 years experience as jewellers. WOW! Thanks Elmer and Sue! Especially Sue for all the lovely cups of tea and crunchy yummy biscuits.

Thanks for reading.

My First Experience with Metal Clay

This is a bunch of shinny things I made in my first metal clay workshop. The little bits will be used in a charm bracelet, the larger pendant will be mounted with a sterling silver bail, and the rest well... who knows....

The large pendant in the middle has had a liver of sulpher patina applied to give it a tarnished look, the raised part of the design was burnished then polished with a silver cloth to bring out the shinny detail.

All the other bits were scrubbed and burnished to a high shine.

As you can see I haven't worked how to change the orientation of photo's once uploaded yet, sigh...

Thanks for reading!


From the beginning I've been creative in one way or another. My earliest memories are of endless drawing of princess gowns (they couldn’t be called dresses, they were way too fabulous for that) and hand sewing clothes for my treasured Barbie doll (and sometimes myself) out of scraps of fabric I scavenged from my Mum’s sewing room.

In my early years at primary school I loved to paint (I wasn't good at it but loved it none the less). High school gave me art classes and Miss Radunz my favourite teacher. Her tuition nurtured my passion for all things "arty". At first I thought I wanted to get into fashion (you know all those pretty dresses drawn in childhood), I thought I could do it, then I realized perhaps I should get a real job. I wasn’t that good at sewing anyways and found it just took to long to get the end product. So that’s where I left it, at the gates of the school when I graduated in ’89.

Many years later, on a not particularly noteworthy miserably rainy day in a small country town my boredom lead to the discovery of beading and jewellery making. My good friend Tennille and I wanted to go to the beach, but because of the aforementioned rain and misery we headed instead to a dollar shop in the main street of the small town I lived in, to find something to amuse ourselves.

After wandering the isles of cheap stuff, I happened upon a revolving stand of pretty, shinny things. After a small discussion with my friend and the purchase of a selection of pretty, shinny things we headed back to my Mum’s house and commenced creating. My friend discovered she wasn’t that interested in making jewellery or beading, but for me it was a revelation, an epiphany, something I’d never done before but felt I’d being doing for ever.

That was about 7 years ago and since then I’ve settled back in Brisbane, made many, many pretty things, sold and given away many, many of those pretty things. I have accumulated a rather large collection of beads and stuff and am always looking for more to add to the collection, even though I’ve not been creating as much as I would like to the past few years.

In July this year I went to a local bead and gem show with hopes of reviving my flagging creativity and pick up a few pretty beads in the process, naturally!. This is when I first heard of Precious Metal Clay (PMC). I signed up for a 3 hour workshop on that day and fell in love. What an amazing product, so many possibilities, so shinny when all polished up!

A few weeks after discovering PMC I attended a beginners Silversmithing workshop that I’d signed up for months before. This was fabulous too and got me thinking. Thinking about what I want to do with my life and where I would like to be. I think I want to be sitting in my garage workshop creating stuff, making jewellery, getting my hands dirty. I think this is the beginning of something good. Something that’s been in the back of my mind for a very long time.

Thanks for reading.