Sunday, 25 April 2010

Textured Heart Tutorial

I have decided to try to do an occassional tutorial on my blog. So here we go with the first one. If like me you end up with quite a bit of less than perfect paste from the odd scraps then this is an ideal project to use it up. Above are two examples of pendants made using this technique. here are the instructions for the heart.

Make a shape using cork clay and put in a cocktail stick into it while still wet so the shape is easy to handle. Dry thoroughly. Cork is best left to dry naturally for at least 48 hours. For this project I have made a heart shape.

Use Art Clay Silver paste. Paint on the first coat thickly making sure you leave a hole at the top and bottom of the bead. Dry. If you use a hairdryer for about 5 minutes and then finish drying over a hot plate you can get a reticulated style effect on the surface as the top skin dries faster than the paste underneath. Try varying the times to see what different effect you can get.

Repeat for 4 or 5 thick coats until you have at least 1mm thickness and dry thoroughly.

Roll out Art Clay Silver to .75mm thick (3 cards). Cut two shapes to go over the bead holes and another shape for decoration if you want.

Cut a smaller hole with a straw or a hole cutter out of the centre of the bead hole covers. You could texture the shapes when you roll the clay out or use something to add texure afterwards.

Add the first bead cover using a little water on the surface of the bead where you are going to place the circle and also some syringe to attach it, then remove the cocktail stick and repeat on the other side of the bead for the second one. I have used a ball point burnisher on the circles while still wet to decorate them.

Add the decorative shape if using. I have used a cocktail stick to add lines to the heart decoration and made a small depression with the ball burnisher to add a stone later. Dry thoroughly.

To set a fireable stone (I used a 3mm ruby CZ) extrude a small amount of syringe into the recess made earlier and gently press the stone into it to create a bezel. Dry.

Refine your piece making sure you have no sharp edges anywhere and make sure you are completely happy with it before firing.

Fire your piece and polish up. Use Liver of Sulphur to patinate to bring up the texture on the surface and then polish up to a nice shine.

Ball up a piece of fine silver wire (I used 1.5mm diameter wire) to make a headpin or use a commercial headpin and wire wrap your pendant to make a loop to hang it from.

Add a chain and sit back and admire your work.

I hope you enjoy having a play with this.

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  1. Looks great, must try this, i have'nt used silver clay for about a year now, will buy some tomorrow,x

  2. Very generous of you Joy, to post this tutorial. Your heart is delightful as is the bead.

  3. That's really good Joy, you explain it so well.
    I have a packet of clay in the cupboard waiting for just the inspiration like this.
    Do you mix the paste from clay and water?

  4. Glad you like it. To make paste if you don't have any just add water to the silver clay and let it soak in. Put it into a small screw top jar and add a little bit at a time. It may take you a day or two depending on how hard your clay currently is. Aim for a thick creamy texture so you can splodge it on and it does not run off. If it gets too runny just leave the lid off for a while so a bit of the water evaporates off.

    Joy x

  5. Great tutorial! I would love to try working with the cork clay - it looks like you can have loads of fun with it!

  6. Beautiful! What firing schedule did/do you use?
    Sharon L x

    1. Thanks! :) For cork clay I start from cold and fire up to 700c, then hold at that until the cork has more or less burnt away, then I up it to 800c and give it another 20+ mins.


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