Friday, 5 November 2010

BoB the overseer

BoB the overseer
Originally uploaded by Murano Silver

BoB likes to make sure my workin's are up to standard!
Every so often his paw flicks out until I've tickled his chin enough for me to continue (BoBs quality control "wages" lol)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Beads and Beyond - September Edition

 I wrote an article for Beads and Beyond (September Issue). It's on making memory bracelets and includes two layer photo pendants, carving text and fingerprint charms.
September is a silver clay special so there are a total of FIVE fabulous projects :)
Also in this months issue are the details for entering their Jewellery Maker of the Year competition there are 8 categories including Bead Stitching, Chain Maille, Lampwork, Linking, Stringing, Metal Clays and Mixed Media.
Prizes are well worth winning so get your thinking caps on as the entry deadline is the 16th September.
Nicola xx

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mixing Up Hadars Bronze, Steel and Copper Clays

This is how Hadars new steel clay looks out of the container...I thought (as Hadar was good enough to demonstrate mixing) that I'd take some pictures of how it's done. The steel clay is very exciting and I'm very much looking forward to capitalising on it's magnetic properties!
Safety Instructions:
You are working with powdered metal - I personally use a dust mask AND barrier cream such as gloves in a bottle. (You normally only get one set of lungs and metal sensitivity rashes suck!)
Mixing Instructions:1) SHAKE the container well ~ this re-disperses the binder & metal particles
2) Pour into a mixing container (this ones a little large the smaller ones are easier)
3) Using pure water (the de-ionised stuff that you put into car batteries and fancy irons)
Spray the powder and start stirring.
4) The mixture will begin to clump (looks like crumble topping at this stage, especially the Bronze....YUM)
5) Go easier with the water once you get to this stage ~ it's not long after that it really starts binding together.
6) Once it's reached the above stage then you can smoosh it all together put it between two plastic folder sheets and start rolling it out. (you can add a little more water to the sheet and fold/roll it in to make the clay extra pliable)

For firing instructions see Hadar Jacobsons Art In Silver Blog, she also has a video on mixing the clay & lots of gorgeous eye candy. :)
Nic xx

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Anubis - Masters Registry

Whilst there's still more work to do, I couldn't resist giving you a peek at how my Anubis figure is progressing.... a far cry from his early days ;)
Or even earlier.....
I 've put more pictures in my "Works in Progress" album on my Flickr photo stream.
Third fill and fire to go then I can start working on the base! need to be careful with the height now, at 11.8cms tall Anubis (+base) still need to fit in my kiln!
He currently weighs in a 151 grammes :)
Nic x

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Hadar Jacobson Class

Hadar Jacobson teaches fabulous workshops and you'll learn LOADS about mixed metal clays.
Silver Clay has always been my preference as the warm metals don't suit my skin tone but after a class with Hadar my love of Bronze, Copper and Steel (yes you heard right ~ STEEL!) has been unleashed too :)
Our first project was to inlay bronze and copper together as these two metals scinter well together. The orange red colour below is the copper the brown is the bronze. We were shown how to make deep indentations in the background clay, dry it, then overfill with the contrasting clay.
Then you sand back to the layer that shows the two contrasting patterns. You'll find Hadars firing shedules on her Art in Silver site.
Below is a picture of Hadars Steel clay in it's powder form. I thought it was going to be a real pain to mix but it was actually very easy and the benefit is that it removes the problems of shelf life and waste clay. It does require a good shaking to make sure the powders haven't settled and evenly distribute them.
After mixing it produces the smoothest loveliest clay that is really flexible and a pleasure to work with (this is the same for all of Hadars clays).
I can see great potential in the steel as you can attach things with magnetic clasps and swappable elements will definitely be explored further!
There's so much more to say about Hadars class (I got so much out of it) so I'll post again soon with some more things that you might like to try :)
Nicola xx

Monday, 24 May 2010

Soldering Silver Clay onto a Sterling Cufflink Finding

Soldering Silver Clay onto a Sterling Cufflink Finding
Originally uploaded by muranosilver

This version shows the solder flowed on the base, then the cuff-link finding brought in ~ you'll find an alternative version on my Flickr stream showing the solder being put onto the finding and then brought onto the preheated PMC base.
(Use whichever works best for you)
Written Instructions for prep etc on on this blog post
Happy making
Nic xx
p.s. The creaking noise was my chair, lol

Friday, 21 May 2010

Making a Silver Clay Finger Print Charm

Making a Silver Clay Finger Print Charm
Originally uploaded by muranosilver

Mini-vid tutorial on making a fingerprint charm.
Here are the Key points:
1) Make sure you have everything to cutters/rollers etc ready before your start.
2) Use thicker slats to allow enough clay for the finger to push into.
3) If the print doesn't look clean then roll it up, re-condition the clay and start again :)
4) Leave enough edge to drill a hole for the jump ring to go through.
5) Dry it thoroughly (a warm room overnight is good)
6) Sand & clean the edges (or use a baby wipe to clean up the edge if it's neat enough already)
7) For maximum strength kiln fire but if you haven't got one of those torch or hob fire in a VERY well ventilated area.
(Instructions for this are on this blog)

Happy Making
Nic xx

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