Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Work

I thought I'd add some pictures of new work here. I had fun messing around with silver clay and firing it in my kiln. Once fired, I burnished, polished, and applied patina to each piece. Here are some of the final results. Why is precious metal clay so amazing? It is malleable like modeling clay, yet it is made of silver particles and organic binder (which burns off during the firing process allowing the silver particles to fuse together)...meaning you can bend it, shape it, stamp it however you want and once it's fired it's pure silver!!

These earrings are the first pair of precious metal clay earrings I made. The flowers design comes from an antique button I bought at a flea market last summer. I made a mold of the button, then an impression with the silver clay.

I especially had fun with this beehive pendant (see below). I found a piece of beeswax, made a mold of it and pressed the clay into it to get the honeycomb pattern on the inset. I made a mold of a bee button I bought at the yarn shop and recreated it in silver clay....attached all of the pieces with some water and clay in a syringe, and voila! Now I'm trying to decide whether to leave it just silver or put some yellow/honey colored polymer clay inlays in the honeycomb. I tried it once already, but it didn't look as nice as I was hoping it would.

 Here the piece has dried on the warming plate and is ready to be sanded.

 The pieces are loaded onto the kiln shelf and ready to be fired.

After the firing I used a burnishing tool and polishing papers and pads to achieve a shiny finish. Then I applied a patina to the piece by dipping it in nasty smelling stuff called Liver of Sulfur. That turned it an iridescent purplish-black color and I polished it all over again--but this time some of the dark patina remained in the crevices to accent the details.

The finished piece.

The silver pattern on these earrings came from an impression from an old fork my mom gave me.

Below are the first two pairs I made with polymer clay inlays for an extra splash of color.

Silver clay also comes in paste form and you can paint it on things and fire it--whatever you painted it on will burn away in the kiln and you are left with a silver copy of that object. I am thinking of trying this on some lilac blossoms since I am totally enamored with this flower. A twig or a small pine cone might be nice too.

Oh and here's a new stone pendant and a recycled glass pendant that I really like too!

Bowerbird Featured as a Freebie Friday Giveaway on Baby Moo Hoo

My co-worker Hilary writes a wonderful mommy blog called Baby Moo Hoo, about adventures in parenting. She's even been selling custom onesies to earn her way to this year's BlogHer conference in San Diego, where up and coming female bloggers unite. One of the cool features of her blog is that she has a weekly giveaway called "Freebie Fridays." This past week Bowerbird Handmade was the featured giveaway (some springy notecards), and as a result there was a nice posting about my work too. Thanks Hilary!

You can read the posting here:
Freebie Friday Bowerbird Handmade

and explore Hilary's blog at:
Baby Moo Hoo

Follow her, she's fun to read!