Sunday, December 13, 2009

November 15, 2009:
Polymer Clay & Silver Metal Clay

The skinner blend I came home from Polymer Techniques class with was making me crazy. It looked like the ocean. I cut a shape out of it and cooked it.

It burned.

I tried again.

It burned.

One more time... not a lot of 'good' variations left... it worked. THANK GOODNESS! (of course I sat in front of the oven the entire time!)

I keep thinking ocean. I love the ocean. Being originally from New England I grew up being only an hour at the most from the ocean. I miss the wind, the smell, the pounding of the waves, the sounds. I miss it all. And the skinner piece kept making me think ocean - nature - natural ... then I started thinking: drift wood and shells. Ok back to polymer clay. They said I could mold it with my hands - lets see what I come up with. Ta Da! Drift wood (yes, it's over cooked but it worked!) I sprayed it with matte clear coat and after seeing it together wished I hadn't - I think that wet/dry sanding it would have been better - BUT I learned that technique AFTER I created the piece.

After molding the drift wood I used 2-part mold compound to make a mold of the drift wood and 3 tiny shells that I had laying around.

After this I filled (have I mentioned I STILL have issues with using too much clay?) the molds with metal clay and when dried I cleaned them up and fired them. I ran into problems. I should have attached the pieces together before firing them. Then fired them as one piece. But I was afraid that the torch wouldn't be able to handle all the pieces together because it was so big. (I had not yet fired up the kiln... you know back to that fear of stepping into the unknown mentioned in an earlier post.)

After much messing around and practically melting the silver pieces I finally got them to stick - Note to self: when firing multiple pre-fired pieces together use Metal Clay OIL not Metal Clay paste. Metal Clay paste works on pieces that are not yet fired, but Metal Clay Oil is what I should have used.

And now to put it all together - the torch makes cool little balls when you heat fine silver wire. AND if you pull the heat off just at the right moment the balls will stay attached to the wire - in what I think looks like seaweed! So I've put the polymer clay w/ the silver pieces and fine silver wire seaweed and come up with a really cool looking piece - a really cool HEAVY piece, but a really cool piece non-the-less.

Is it a pendant or a "broach"? I'm not sure. Right now it has a bail on it, but I really think it needs a pin.

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