Jun 4, 2012

Metal Clay Ring Fired Flat

Here are some photos as I work on a project.  This is a ring top made with Art Clay Silver.  I have yet to complete this ring, but wanted to share some of the steps I've done so far.  This ring was fired flat and then bent to shape!  I'll post follow up photos as I progress. 

The blue mold was made from a copper metal clay model that I formed earlier.  The original drawing was made first in polymer clay, a mold made, then copper in that mold.  I used a two part Megamold compound from Cool Tools to make this mold from the copper model.  Shown in the photo is a bit of silver metal clay that has been kneaded under plastic wrap ready to use and my Silicone glove hand lotion as a release agent so the clay won't stick in the mold.


I pressed the metal clay into the mold and let it dry.  Once dry, it came right out and I sanded and filed the piece.

Here is the piece still in the sanding stage.  I use a dry paint brush to brush the clay sand off so I can see the detail better.  The plastic tub with the lid is my slip jar, a recycled baby food container!

This is as far as I wanted to go with the sanding.  The delicate structure will be stronger after firing and safer to refine the details.  Two holes where I will set gems, the middle space is for a bezel setting.

Nice orange glow as I torch fired the piece.

Cooling off on the firebrick.

Tumbled for an hour in steel shot, water and dish soap.  This work hardens the silver and polishes. 

I dapped the piece lightly using a curved wooden block to dome it a start the curve shape.  The ring top was made flat, however, the design is for the top to curve along the top of a size 5 ring.  I used my torch to anneal and heat up the silver again until it glowed a bit and then let it cool until I could touch it.  I hammered with a rawhide mallet against a wood mandrel, then switched to my steel mandrel for the final curve shape.



Ring top resting on my size 5 finger, nice curve.  Perfect for the ring band to connect.
Next, I will be using syringe, overlay paste, bezel and prong settings, pattern wire........more updates to come!

2 comments:

  1. Kathy I can't wait to see the finished ring! Looks good so far!

    ReplyDelete