|My finished Pueblo Ring|
The second project we made in Hadar’s class on ‘Architectural Jewelry’ was a ring with 3 layers. It has dimension in the front, an integral band in the back and the bottom is enclosed. I made a mini pueblo with a tower, middle building and a wall. The clay is Hadar’s Brilliant Bronze. Each layer has a different texture which enhances the 3-D effect.
|Using the paper ring to dry the separate pieces. These are parts from different class member's rings.|
The band starts with a strip of paper taped in a circle that is 2.5 times larger than the actual ring size. That adjusts for the shrinkage during firing. I should have made mine a half size larger. Now I have a pinkie ring that is a little heavy. Someday when I make another, this may end up in my etsy store. Right now, I’m just excited to have made it! Each layer is made separately and dried before attaching to the main band. The bottom is then attached and dried.
|This shows the bottom layer after firing|
The ring is sanded and finished as much as possible (to avoid a lot of work after firing). A layer of charcoal is placed in a round stainless pan, the rings set on it and the bowl is placed on a ‘camp stove’ arrangement with a vented ‘hood’.
|Placing dried rings on charcoal base layer|
|Ready for 1st firing.|
Then it is heated until the pieces are black and no longer smoke. The binder has just burned away and the metal molecules are just hanging there. If you picked the ring up at this point, it would crumble. Material that will not burn in the kiln (like kiln fire blanket) is placed in strategic areas where we did not want charcoal to get caught (between the layers) and more charcoal was layered on top of the ring covering it.
|After 1st firing and ready for the covering charcoal.|
Then the bowl was placed in the kiln and heated to a high temperature. The metal molecules fused together (or sintered) and after 2 hours the ring came out. It was cooled and cleaned and polished.
|In the kiln (the door would normally be closed) for 2nd firing.|
It was pretty exciting to see my ring and to try it on. At least it fit my little finger and it did not need repair. Amazing!
I learned so much on this project: texturing, building pieces, the process of 2-phase firing and polishing.
And I have so many ideas for this type of construction.
More next week!