PMC3 Silver Clay
Sterling Silver Hinged Enhancer (optional)
20g 4mm Sterling Silver Wire Jump Ring (optional)
18g Large 6mm Sterling Silver Wire Jump Ring (optional)
Cellphone (to use as a timer)
The rest are in My Toolbox
This is the third project I’ve made from this course. Jenny began by discussing the pros and cons of using a metal clay snake versus a piece of sterling or fine silver wire. Which you choose is partially determined by the look of your design, but primarily about the function. She also gave several options for this project including: a monogram pendant, a toggle clasp and a shawl pin. I decided to create the monogram.
Snake making is quick and fun. Jenny stressed that you must keep the clay hydrated or it will crack when you roll and shape it. Snakes dry out quickly, especially in hot, summer weather. She used an empanada metaphor. “Make a little pancake. Take a tiny dab of water. Fold it up like a little baby taco, or I guess that’s an empanada. Roll it up together.” What a fantastic way to make moistening clay easy to remember!
She demonstrated rolling a snake using an acrylic block. I had not seen this technique before. Luckily, I had an acrylic block I purchased for another project. After using it to make snakes, it is now officially part of my metal clay toolbox. The block allows you to control the pressure and create even, tapered snakes with ease. Much easier than using your fingers.
Jenny used a soft brush to lightly paint water on the snake before forming it into a monogram. I did the same but found applying a little pressure left a lovely texture on the surface of the clay. I liked the look of the brushstrokes and decided to keep that texture rather than smooth out the surface with more water.
The firing process went well. I fired it double the recommended time because my monogram looked larger than Jenny’s. It was about 28 x 24 mm. I brass brushed it and thought it looked slightly bowed in the middle. I decided to try to flatten it. Big mistake! When I bent it, the piece broke right in half.
I was so disappointed. Then I remembered Jenny’s “Repairing Mistakes” section of this course that I used to repair my cracked button in the Wet Clay Texture project. She explained how to repair breaks by making an Essential Oil paste and using that as glue. I used Lavender Oil for my paste and left it pretty thick.
First, I used a big glob of the paste to attach the two pieces and let that dry overnight. I carefully added more paste to the back and front and used the soft brush dipped in water to recreate the painted texture. I re-fired the piece.
Here’s how it looked after the second firing and some attention with the brass brush. The back looked a little too smooth so I added a little texture with a needle file. I can’t tell it was ever broken.
I wasn’t sure how to finish the monogram. I wanted to be able to put it on different types of necklaces so I added a hinged enhancer.
This enhancer was designed to add a pendant to a string of pearls so it is thinner than most I’ve seen. Since the monogram was textured, the shiny silver surface of the enhancer didn’t work. It detracted from the pendant. I added a little texture to it with sandpaper and steel wool. That helped echo the finish on the pendant. I made a 6mm jump ring to loop over the top of the L and attached it to the enhancer with a 4mm jump ring.
Here’s a few examples of the flexibility the enhancer provides. I’m so thankful that Jenny included the “Repairing Mistakes” section with this course. Breaks are going to happen but they don’t have to be devastating. Fixing the L left me feeling confident that I could deal with similar problems that pop up in the future. Loved this project!