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

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Texturing Silver Metal Clay

Texturing Silver Clay
Originally uploaded by muranosilver

3rd in the series Silver Clay - the very, very basics...
How to take a good impression using a texture mat + using a cutter
Nic xx
P.S> Feel free to suggest other topics for my 60-90 second video minis :)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rolling Out Silver Clay

Rolling Out Silver Clay
Originally uploaded by muranosilver

2nd in the series of "Silver Clay the Very Basics" this one shows you how easy it is to roll conditioned silver clay. Sorry for any clumsiness (had to use one hand so I didn't get in the way of the camera)
Nic xx

Monday, 17 May 2010

Art Clay Silver Conditioning

Art Clay Silver Conditioning
Originally uploaded by muranosilver

As so many people get the packet and then aren't sure what the "silver clay" should look like here's a short video of what it looks like fresh out of the packet AND how to add moisture to the clay.

If you need to re-hydrate the clay then once it's wrapped in cling film put it back in it's zip lock packet with some moistened kitchen towel. (After taking the paperwork out, lol)
Hope it's useful
Nic xx

Guild of Enamellers - Conference Classes

Above is the Art Clay & Enamel pendant I made after taking Mr Ueedas class at the Guild of Enamellers conference. If you're interested in enamelling it's worth joining the Guild of Enamellers and learning from the immensely talented fellow members. I went to this years conference and would've loved to have done ALL of the many classes on offer.
Membership benefits include:
A quarterly journal of information, tips and techniques for both the beginner and experienced enameller plus sources of materials and equipment.
Access to the Guild’s library of books and VIDEO/DVDs. (UK only)
Opportunity to attend regional workshops (fantastic ones!)
Opportunity to attend the Guild's Annual Conference, a weekend of workshops, talks and apply to have your work assessed for an award....
All of this costs the princely sum of just £20.00 amazing!

This years conference classes included:
Jane Short ~ Basse taille brooch in a day
Dorothy Cockrell ~ Cloisonne Mr Ueedas ~ Enamel on Art Clay Silver Jill Leventon ~ Fold Forming & Press Forming Lesley Miller ~ Stencils for Enamelling Janet Notman ~ Torch Firing Copper BeadsMany people were trying these things for the first time so the results are fantastic! I'm putting together some pictures on the Art Clay embellishment and enamel class I took with Toshihide Ueeda ~ it was truly a wonderful experience and he and Daisukeb Minagawa (his interpreter) made it a very pleasant learning experience.
Can't wait until the next conference!

Nic xx

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Blog Giveaway - Winner & Next Giveaway

Congratulations to One Creative Queen on winning the giveaway!! Please contact me with your address and colour choice so I can send you your prize :)
More great news ~ My Murano Silver blog has reached it's 100th post so we'll be doing a giveaway there soon (eyes peeled)
Nic xx

Book Review - Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry

I've had Kate McKinnons "Structural Metal Clay" book for a while now (it's superb) so I was very excited to see the arrival of "Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry".
Kate is a "jewellery engineer" ~ her designs are not only visually appealing, but also constructed for maximum strength and wearability. This book expands on her previous one and also includes a DVD so represents excellent value.

Inside the book you'll find a wealth of information broken into three main areas..
Basics: Tools, Basic Techniques, Firing, Finishing & Safety (The safety aspect is particularly excellent and well covered!)
Elements: This includes 19 techniques for making simple components in metal clay and fine silver wire. Even experienced metalsmiths will benefit but new users will find the info really helps in achieving professional results
Projects: 10 Detailed Sep by Step projects such as: Knobby Chains, Rivet Post Rings, Amphora Pendant and Bird on a Branch Necklace.

Favourite Parts: Chain making, easy size shanks and box building sections.
Negatives? If you have Kates first book, Structural Metal Clay there is some crossover but as this one is currently £12.99 on Amazon (a saving of £7.00) it still worth buying for the improved layout and fantastic pictures.

This book is great for metal clay artisans of all levels. Refreshingly Kate treats metal clay not just as a stand alone product but as one of the many tools and techniques that a metalsmith can employ in their design arsenal.
Kates approach is to be applauded and (if more widely adopted) would certainly help metal clays acceptance in the traditional metal smithing community.
Available at: Amazon and Metal Clay Specialists. Also available with a "Bonus Pack" direct from Kate McKinnons Website
Nicola xx
Photos used courtesy of Interweave Press & Kate McKinnon

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