I am so lucky to have an incredible, loving and 'Wind Beneath My Wings' Sister. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area for a several day visit. She is the best ever. We get together for a few days every couple of years ~ so this time I wanted to make "Two-of-a-kind" pendants. The thing I learned from this project was that, even though I made them at the same time, using the same glass, the work turned out slightly different.... just like us. The fused glass is a wonderful medium with which to work. I turned two pieces of Dichroic glass differently on the work and got a surprise.... Same but different. I ground the pieces a bit uniquely too. Not too far off... but the same. The pure silver metal clay was a great exercise.
I use Art Clay Silver, I am a Master Instructor, and learned that if you photocopy your 'stones' by increasing the size by 115%, take the images and make the metal clay 'settings' the photocopy size, you will have a perfect setting after firing. I fired these pieces up to my kiln's fire polishing temperature. This way the metal would not shrink further and damage the fused glass.
Then I tossed them into the vibrating tumbler and gave them a bit of a burnishing with the stainless steel shot.
Then I set the stones into the MC... actually they 'snapped' into place. The math worked!!! The fused glass was a perfect fit. Next I fire polished.
This process got the glass 'warm' enough to marry into the metal clay. Therefore there was no 'chemical bonding' or the use of a 'jewelers setting agent' to hold the glass into place.
Another plus was that I had extruded several bails for future use and they were at the ready when I needed them for this project. I used the Makin's Clay extruder with their hollow core adaptors. I use this a lot for my bails and the sterling snake chains just glide through.... I am liking to leave the backs open on my glass work - just because I like to sign the glass in addition to the silver.
Click on images to enlarge.
Before I left the foothills of the Sierras to come and visit, I made an experiment with different sizes of a Red Opal frit. I liked how the glass turned out and then tried another way of setting the metal clay on it. It has been fired and I will burnish it when I get home an do another blog post at that time.
I love teaching too. Had a certification workshop last weekend and have two more classes this coming weekend.
Art IS bliss....