Sunday 29 December 2019

Ring a Month 2019 - December

This is my ring for December for the Ring a Month Challenge 2019.

This is 
Jimbug © Joy Funnell

The theme for the month was Creatures.

This is quite a long winded post - you have been warned!! 😉

When I started on this challenge in January 2019 one of my personal things was to try to use left over elements that I have already laying around. I've managed this with varying success over the months. This month I'm pleased to say that apart from the ring band all the elements were pre-made pieces of clay I had laying around 😀

There's a little story to the main element that sparked my idea for this ring. In November I was teaching a 1-2-1 workshop and we were making Christmas decorations. The main thing to be made was a teddy bear (which was very successful I would add), but during the day I was playing with one or two other ideas my workshop attendee had had while she was working on teddy. One was a snowdrop. I made a little template up and cut out a piece of textured clay to form into a flower shape. In the process of mucking about with it I laid it down and we both said - oh look - a cricket!! 😂

I left it on one side to dry as the shape was quite nice. 

When the theme for the December ring was announced I immediately thought of the little bug shape. 

All year through this challenge I've wanted to do at least one ring with a cabochon (cab) in it. 

I've had this ammolite cab for ages - it has gorgeous colours but the finish is not top quality - there again I was given it as a freebie with some other stones I bought so I can't complain 😉 

I realised it was a perfect size and shape for my little bug so I set about creating!!

In order to fit the cab into the wing shapes so it could be the body of the bug the first thing I did was to remove the bottom 'petal'. Then I found an old piece of textured clay I could make a base from. It was quite big...

...and had been used for practising creating textures on various workshops in the past on the reverse!!! As that side wouldn't be seen that didn't matter. I laid the wings onto it, drew out the rough shape I wanted and then scored the clay. 

After scoring it was easy to gently bend the clay and break away all the excess, much quicker than cutting it back or filing 😊

I fixed the wings to the new base and dried it...

...and then added the original 'petal' base plate back in as that would be the support for the cab to sit on.

From my box of dried bits of clay I found two pieces for eyes and some curly bits!! lol

These were added and my little Jimbug was starting to come to life 😊

The textured surface of the head suggested a natural little smiling mouth so I just went with it and emphasised it more. 

He was very cute sitting on my fingers 😂

Now I needed a ring band. I didn't have one made in my size so I had a good think of something different I could do. I rolled out a snake of clay using the Rollmakers (if you previously missed seeing what Rollmakers are check out this blog post 😉).
After rolling the snake I then flattened it to a thickness of 2mm (8 cards). It gave a nice effect and I'll use this again. I wrapped it onto a ring mandrel and joined the ends. 

I neatened the join and then added little Jimbug onto the band.

Once he was nice and dry he was already for firing. I like to fire rings with large topper elements standing upright supported by a bit of fibre wool.

Once he was fired and cooled I used pliers to adjust his wings so the cab would easily slide into place. 

I polished up the silver and patinated it to give a nice contrast in the textures and make them stand out. 

Finally I set the Ammolite cab into place. To be sure it would be really safe I used a little glue under it and then I gently bent the wings in tightly to hold the cab in place. I don't think the cab would of fallen out without the glue but it would of wobbled a bit and I wanted it to be nice and firmly in position. 

And so Jimbug was finally ready!!

Depending on the angle of the light the Ammolite cab shines reds, yellows and greens. 

I've made a little video of him to give you a better idea of the colours in the cab 😀

So that's it - the twelfth ring!!! 

I've really enjoyed this challenge and I've definitely made some pieces I would never of dreamt of back in January.

I was thinking of what to do next year and a couple of weeks ago (after I had already started making this piece) I had an idea to start a challenge to
Set a Cab a Month in 2020.

I've created a Facebook group for that and asked if anyone wanted to join me - and we already have nearly 250 members!! Wonderful 😊

This ring is the perfect crossover from making a Ring a Month to getting ready to start my Setting a Cab a Month challenge. Please do join in next years challenge if you want to :D

So until next time...
Have Fun!!

Joy x

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