Monday, May 31, 2010

What I did with my day off

Here's some pieces I made while messing around with the rough diamonds. I was experimenting with different ways of setting them, since they did change color in the kiln. The bezel is the easiest to work with I think, and the best part was when I realized that I didn't have to wait and order some tomorrow, I could just make my own! Metal clay is fun that way. Back to my regularly scheduled work now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rough diamonds

I've been seeing rough or raw diamonds more and more lately, so I thought I'd get some and play around a bit. I was mistakenly shipped a largish packet of small stones and the vendor told me to just keep them, so I have a bunch to experiment with. I put them in little balls of PMC3 and fired at 1110 for 30 minutes (and went out for Ethiopian food in the meantime). They survived the firing, but did darken. Which is fine for the ones that were already dark, not so good for the orange and yellow ones. I have plenty of other options for setting them though, so I'll continue to experiment. What I will eventually do with them I have no idea! That's part of the fun though.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Custom flower, start to finish

The drawing, done in Adobe Illustrator

Building the flower out of PMC. This gray thing is going to become .999 silver after firing in my kiln.

Just out of the kiln, where the organic binder has burned off and the silver particles have fused, created a pure silver flower. It's like magic, I tell you!

The finished piece, inlaid with tinted concrete

Here's a large custom piece I just finished which I photographed along the way to show the different stages of working with precious metal clay (PMC). I like to do my initial sketches on paper with a pen, but always take them in to Adobe Illustrator for my final template. Since PMC shrinks around 13%, it's very helpful to scale my drawings in Illustrator so I can get the finished size I want. The shrinkage does vary sometimes, but I can get very close to the final size I want this way. This piece is much larger than I usually work, 1 3/4" in diameter (45mm) I may have to make one for myself!