A (somewhat) daily rambling on the life of a polymer Clay metal clay and Fused Glass artist/teacher/author.

Very soon my blog will move to my website...as soon as it is done that is. This blog will be my Theatrical life of directing The Secret Garden

Monday, April 28, 2008

SISTERS

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....

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