Friday, 28 February 2020

Set A Cab A Month - February 2020

Shimmering Cloud © Joy Funnell
Fine silver with enamel and an Ethiopian Opal, made using Art Clay Silver. 

Here is my piece for February for the Set A Cab A Month challenge 😊

This was very much a 'designed on the hoof' piece!!! 😂

It started out with a textured bit of clay that I demo-ed in a workshop. Looking at the piece afterwards I decided maybe I could make something more of it 😉

I searched through my stash of cabs and found a lovely oval Ethiopian Opal Cabochon which I've had for several years, and set about thinking what to add next. 

I found a texture with radiating designs that could go behind where I was going to put the stone. 

I thought the easiest thing to do was to make a back plate for the original piece that could be added to it easily once dry. 
The back plate was roughly cut out, then refined after drying....

...and the two pieces of silver clay were joined using just water. 

I used fine silver wire to make the bezel for the opal. This would be added after firing. 

Then I searched through my stash of pre-made bits and found a pair of loops that looked a good fit!! 😁

I joined the loops to the main pendant and set about decorating the back...

...rolling out some tiny snakes to add, plus a little flower motif plus, of course, my Joy logo!! 😉

The it was off to the kiln with it for firing.

After firing I polished the pendant up and then added the bezel for the cab. 
I had originally thought I would solder this on, but I also wanted to enamel the pendant.... so I decided to add the bezel using Art Clay Overlay Silver Paste. This brilliant paste easily joins fired pieces of silver together and was perfect for adding the bail to the surface. It has the added advantage of filling gaps under the edge of the bezel where the texture is, where solder is not so happy to, and doesn't re-flow like solder would each time the piece goes back in the kiln for enamelling 😀

Now I have to say this is not my normal sort of colour palette!!! I went with matching the colours of the super sparkly opal using yellow, green and orange. I was a slightly dubious having not actually tested the combination in advance but it turned out a really lovely combo and matched the opal beautifully (though I say so myself!! lol ) 😃

After enamelling I patinated the pendant, re-polished it, set the opal into the bezel, and thought about what to hang it on. I went with a black satin cord with red transparent glass beads as I thought they set off the bright colours nicely 😀

The opal has a wonderful play of colours in it which is hard to capture in the photos.  

Overall I'm very happy with the piece and I'm enjoying the challenge of actually using some of my cabs!!

Until next time...

...have fun!!

Joy x

Friday, 31 January 2020

Set a Cab a Month - January 2020

Eye'll Protect You © Joy Funnell

A new year and a new Challenge!!

Last year I did the Make a Ring a Month challenge and I loved it.

This year I'm doing a Set a Cab a Month challenge. 
I decided to do this as I have loads of cabochons I've accumulated over the years and I seldom make any pieces using them.  😮😉

I posted onto Facebook about it and apparently I was not alone!!! 😂
So I started a Facebook group for the challenge and said did anyone want to join me and amazingly the group is already nearly 350 strong!!!
Yes, there are a lot of hoarders out there just like me!!! Here's just a few of my pretties!!! 

I have to admit this month has been busy and I've very much left making this to the last minute. Today is 31st January and I'm  typing the start of this blog post while the piece is in the kiln firing to save a bit of time later!!! 😁

I did at least have an idea in mind so this today I got cracking. 
I have this beautiful little Ocean Jasper cabochon with a really lovely single orb on it which has been just screaming eyeball at me ever since I got it....which is apparently nearly 5 years ago now I've checked back!! 😆

I made a bezel using wire to go around the stone and then embedded that into some textured clay and cut out an eye shape.

Once it was dry I added a thin snake of wet clay around the bezel ...

...and while it was still wet I textured the clay.

I rolled out two more snakes of clay to go on each side of the eye. 

Here's a little tip for you metal clayers. If you want two snakes to be exactly the same thickness roll them both at the same time 😉

Then I laid the snakes on each side and used a ball headed burnisher to impress some indents. 

I made a little bail to complement the pendant. 

Then I refined everything up and joined the bail, so now it was ready for firing!! :D 

 After firing I polished the piece up. Then I enamelled it, patinated it, re-polished and set the stone!!


I love the Evil Eye, Lucky Eye, Protective Eye symbolism so I called this piece
Eye'll Protect You 

This is the back, with my Joy logo of course!! 😊

All in all I'm happy with it. One of the things I really want to do this year is to combine enamelling with stone setting... that's one down!!!

I'll try not to be so last minute next month!!! 😅

Until then...

Have fun!

Joy x
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