Saturday, June 30, 2012

Using Heat in jewelry making

Hello Again,
I hope everyone is having a great summer. For me  it has been a busy one, family functions, holidays and work. With summer usually comes heat, and this week was extremely hot here (in the 100's).  A little too hot for me.  Luckily, my husband got the AC fixed and we remained comfortable.

Being hot, I thought about using heat in jewelry making and remembered I tried out precious metal clay.  The process was long, but worth it.  I took a class at Beadin' Mon! a few years back.  Taking a class, was the best way to learn this technique.  I didn't have to invest in all the supplies to try it out.

As I worked with the clay, rolling it out and cutting out my shapes I remember thinking how sculptural it was. We used rubber design plates, much like stamps that I used in card making.  We dried the clay pieces on a small hot plate, filed the edges smooth and then we applied the heat.  The instructor showed how to use a small torch to fire our pieces, and then dropped them in a solution of liver of sulfur. Then we finished the pieces as directed and added our beads and findings.

I know I may of missed a few steps in my description above.  But I remembered how fun making my own metal pendant was.  And I was able to use techniques that I have learned in a number of other crafting arenas. Plus it was kind of cool to use a hand held torch to fire my projects.  But remember to always use safety measures.  You don't want to get hurt.

Here's a photo of my project.  I had enough clay left to make a pair of earrings to go with the pendant.

As I always say, if you want to try out a new techniques, the best way is to take a class.  You get instructions, walked through the process and you don't have to invest in a lot of products just to try it out.  It has been a while since the class was offered at Beadin' Mon! but, you can always ask to have it again or they can direct you to another place that may offer the class.

I hope that if you are in the area (Flint, Michigan) that you stop by the shop and say hi, check out the class list and even pick up a few supplies and beads.   Or you can check out or website at where you can see our class line up or shop our online store.  So until next time, stay cool, enjoy the sun and happy beadin'.

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