Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some New Eye Candy

Here's a few pieces that I've recently finished up. They're not listed on Etsy yet, but they might be. If you see something here that you just HAVE to have before then, just contact me and I can make it yours!

This first one is a boulder opal which has been bezel-set into the metal clay. This is a complicated process, where I first make the bezel (the silver part that surrounds the stone) out of fine silver bezel wire by shaping it around the stone and then soldering the seam together. Then I set the bezel into some polymer clay about one-third of the depth of the bezel. I mix up some investment, which is like plaster, and pour it into the space where the stone will be. After the investment sets up, I remove the whole thing from the polymer clay base and press it into the backing piece I've made out of silver clay. When it's fired in the kiln, the investment holds the place and shape of the stone, as the silver clay shrinks 10-12% during firing. After it's fired I set the opal in place.

The one below is a large purple goldstone donut with a fine silver disk. The bail is made from sterling silver wire that has been forged by hand. A rivet in the center holds the whole thing together securely, and it's the same on both sides.

Next, we have a fine silver pendant with a simple but elegant pattern and a black akoya pearl in the center. To make this one, I imbed a post of fine silver wire into the clay and set the half-drilled pearl onto that wire as the last step.

Then, I made a couple more necklaces with the seed bead chains to replace the ones that I left at the Little Art Gallery in Raleigh. They both feature beautiful dichroic glass cabachons, which can be put in place and fired in the kiln along with the silver clay. This first one is a toggle pendant - the pendant IS the clasp and it's designed to be worn in the front.

This last one features a center pendant and has a large sterling silver "S" clasp in the back.

Well, that's some of what I've been up to. I have four shows coming up between now and the end of the year, so I gotta stay busy in the studio. I'll post more about those shows soon. Also, I'm planning a HUGE sale on my Etsy site for the month of November to celebrate my birthday. You won't believe how much I'll be slashing prices on things that have been hanging around in the inventory for a long time. Stay tuned.

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