Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Sterling Silver Seed Pod

I've been stuck in seed pods this fall! This is my sterling silver piece. 

I thought it might be difficult to mold the silver clay into the correct shape and of course I tried several forms to accomplish the support. Among some of the solutions were egg cartons (they were not quite the right shape), paper (it did not hold its shape) and microsphere clay (it was too crumbly or I did not have the expertise to use it).


Finally I rolled the clay to 4 cards thickness and used my paper pattern to cut 4 sections of the pod.  This is the same pattern I used to make the translucent polymer pod.  Then I used big bead of air dry clay as supports for the sections.

  I also used a special form I made to be sure the 4 sections would fit together correctly and dried them separately.  Once dry, I knew I could sand and glue them together with water and clay and they would keep their shape.  The same texture plate was used as in the previous polymer seed pods and love the way it turned out in the silver. 


I used sterling silver wire in a heavy gauge to make the center dangle and the bale.  My idea was to make it look like the stem when it attached to the chain.  This is the only part that did not work.  After firing, the wire broke in two places as I tried to harden it.  Plan B = make a new bale with new sterling wire.  That works fine.  The inside dangle is working well. 



Black Max Patina was dabbed on the outside and then I polished the high parts.  I’m very happy with the results.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Sterling Silver Seed Pod

I've been stuck in seed pods this fall! This is my sterling silver piece. 

I thought it might be difficult to mold the silver clay into the correct shape and of course I tried several forms to accomplish the support. Among some of the solutions were egg cartons (they were not quite the right shape), paper (it did not hold its shape) and microsphere clay (it was too crumbly or I did not have the expertise to use it).


Finally I rolled the clay to 4 cards thickness and used my paper pattern to cut 4 sections of the pod.  This is the same pattern I used to make the translucent polymer pod.  Then I used big bead of air dry clay as supports for the sections.

  I also used a special form I made to be sure the 4 sections would fit together correctly and dried them separately.  Once dry, I knew I could sand and glue them together with water and clay and they would keep their shape.  The same texture plate was used as in the previous polymer seed pods and love the way it turned out in the silver. 


I used sterling silver wire in a heavy gauge to make the center dangle and the bale.  My idea was to make it look like the stem when it attached to the chain.  This is the only part that did not work.  After firing, the wire broke in two places as I tried to harden it.  Plan B = make a new bale with new sterling wire.  That works fine.  The inside dangle is working well. 



Black Max Patina was dabbed on the outside and then I polished the high parts.  I’m very happy with the results.