Monday, October 31, 2016

10.31.16 On my own with the clay...

When I started down this path of taking classes and making jewelry - the primary objective was to LEARN and make jewelry that I would want to wear.  The expansion in to creating gifts for family and friends, much less pieces for sale, was so far off on the horizon that I could never have imagined being here in just under two years.

I realized early on in my adventure in metalsmithing that this is a physical endeavor - and just being in a class, taking notes and creating one or two class projects is not enough to cement a technique (at least for me).  Between my 101 and 201 Fabrication classes, I made a point of getting to open studio almost every week to work on my skill - having more jewelry was just a happy byproduct.  Now that I've finished my second metal clay class - and have all of the nifty components to work with - I decided to spend some time doing just that.

My original vision for the small Texas charms was earrings - simple ones with a jump ring at the top of the panhandle.  However, the charms are so thin and delicate, that there is really no good way to attach the ring securely - so I'm going with Plan B - making Texas "Posey Pendants".

I started playing around with ideas similar to the pendant I made in class on my kitchen table, and then went back to the studio with a plan.

Back at the bench, I decided to make two more pendants with metal clay components.  Another "posey" pendant, and the Heart of Texas and got to work.

I went ahead and fused down two twisted wire frames, and decided to work on the Texas pendant first.  I had played around with leaves on either side of the stone, but decided to use small flowers instead.  For the posey pendant I used one of the "cinnamon roll" roses in the center, and put medium sized flowers and leaves around it.

I thought that I had everything fused down solidly - but lost a couple of granules along the way (they're so tiny - you'd think they'd be the easiest to fuse - but they are not) - so had to go back and reattach them - but overall, I was happy with my work.
I opted use lapis cabochons - rather than moonstones - to add some color, and because for the Texas one, I wanted to invoke the state flower - bluebonnets.

I'm certainly going to make more of these - they are fun - and still have a LOT of small metal clay components.  I haven't decided if I'll put them in the shop, or hang on to them to give as gifts...but I'm probably going to look for some other stones to add some variety to the finished pieces.

So watch this space for more adventures in metal clay (I'm hoping I can talk the Creative Side folks into some "open studio" type clay sessions, since I don't have the tools for this, either)...and be sure to check out Vickie Hallmark's beautiful work - her pieces inspire me to be a better jeweler.

Until next time.

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