Tuesday 30 April 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - April

Oh boy, this month's ring was running it fine!!

I'd been thinking about it all month but everything got so busy and suddenly it was the 30th!! 

The theme for the month was 'Inspired by Nature'.

Actually I have made several rings this month including one for my new online workshop Pazazzy Rings - but more on that at the end of the post. 

However, I hadn't made anything especially for the challenge and I wasn't going to fall at only the fourth hurdle of the year so this morning I set myself a real challenge!

I knew all month I wanted to make a ring with a flower (preferably a red flower!)  but I hadn't got as far as coming up with a firm idea.

Part of my challenge to myself for the year was to try to use up some of the bits and pieces I had laying around so this morning I went on a rummage. I found a ring band with a texture already round it so that was a good start. Then I found a bezel setting that was a couple of years old I think! I made it using the new bezel mould from Aida that I bought at the first YCMI metal clay conference in 2017 and it had never got any further than a straight moulded bit of clay!

Today was super busy with lots to do so I gave myself a 30 mins max slot to turn the bezel into a flower shape. 

This turned out to be quite liberating!!!! I set about it in gung-ho fashion and really enjoyed myself 😉

First I divided it into 5 sections and carved grooves...

..then I started to round off each section to make them a bit petal shaped...

...working my way around the setting...

..until it was flower shape-ish! 😉 ...

...then to choose a stone.

OK, I knew I wanted red, but was I nearly distracted with super sparkly white! I stuck to my guns though and went with red.

I tried sizing up the flower setting straight onto the band but it seemed like it needed something else. 
I found some rolled out plain clay that was only .25mm/1 card thick and cut out some little leaves with a tiny punch...

...then I found a disc of clay with a texture on one side and added the leaves to the plain side.  Yes, I know it's starting to  look a bit like a holly wreath at this point but bear with me...

... I smoothed off the leaf points and used a tiny ball burnisher to add some leaf veins...

...then it was assembly time. 

Note the super useful sponge - cheap sponges make the best customise-able stands for all manner of things!!! 😉

I used syringe clay to join everything. 
First the leaf plate to the ring band...

...then the petal setting to the ring. 

Now at this point I'd guessed what size stone to put into the bezel as I hadn't checked, and normally I use a stone setting burr to make sure I get a really good fit for the stone.

Today with not much time I was working on more of a wing and a prayer!! I wetted the inside of the setting and settled in my stone hoping it would work! As it was in a totally sloping sided setting there was a chance the shrinkage as the clay fired would just push the stone straight out of the top of it without ever gripping it into place but I went for it! 

So I was super happy that the stone fired into place and held!!!
Here is the ring after firing. 
I then hit it with a hammer a bit to just curl the tips of the petals over slightly (and to see if the stone fell out!! - it didn't) . 

I wanted to add a little more depth to the ring so I added some Vintaj Patinas for a touch of colour on the petals and leaves.

I started out with some pre-made elements and it didn't take more than 45 mins from the start to get it ready for the kiln, and then a bit of finishing.

All in all for a last minute panic I'm very happy with it!!

But next month I plan to try to put more effort into my Ring a Month - honest!! ;)

a short advert - lol

I'm teaching an online workshop on Saturday 4th May on CraftCast  for making Pazazzy Rings plus a pendant variation. This workshop is still available anytime afterwards as a recording and you can re-watch as many times as you want!! D

These are examples of the rings...

...and a pendant variation...

I hope you can join me for the workshop!! :D 

Have fun!

Joy x

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