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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Metal Clay : Paste

Luckily, these pictures were taken prior to my camera went bust on me. Else, I think I'll be having problems blogging already..... o_O

Wanted to borrow my sis in law's camera but turns out she misplaced the USB cable and I won't be able to transfer the pictures into my pc. Memory card won't do because it's a Sony's camera i.e. exclusive memory stick. I call it the stuck up camera. :P Neither did she see the need to get the external storage when the camera comes with in-built 4G memory.

Meantime, I'm pretty stucked....between the cost of repair and getting a new one.

I can't work with no camera....... *sigh* ......... o_O

Anyway, that's not today's story.

What can you do with metal clay paste? Lots! But like I mentioned earlier, it's normally used with a combustible material where it will help to give shape and form to the paste once the material burns off during firing.

This leaf pendant was made from painting layer and layers of paste onto a piece of real leaf which I later oxidised. I wanted to oxidised this piece to give it a more antiqued look and also to make the veins of the leaf appear more prominent.

We were actually supposed to make a bail for the pendant but I meantioned before that I ran out of material. My leaf pendant ended up with a drilled hole instead for me to later attach a jump ring as the bail.

Honestly, I think a proper bail would have look much nicer. Oh, well....

One thing to take note when using paste is that the layer has to be thick enough. Otherwise, it won't survive the firing an cracked like what happen to this piece. Why this is important is due to the shrinkage. If the layers are not thick enough, when it shrinks, and there's not enough substance to hold on to, it just tears apart.

It's a rose ring set with a few CZ stones around it. I saw a pre-baked piece of rose form cork clay and immediately fell for it but I didn't know what to do with it. Nevertheless I went on and painted it with the paste. It was at the eleventh hour that I decided to turn it into a ring.

I thought I've painted enough layers already but obviously, I haven't! My instructor told me she knew that that piece wouldn't make it because she can tell that the layers wasn't thick enough but hasn't got the heart to tell me.

I thought it was thick enough already because I just kept painting and painting and covering the rose form with layers and layers of paste. But of course, I though wrong..... it cracked........

I reckon I could figure why she hasn't got the heart to tell me because the only way to salvage it was probably to get more paste......and these stuffs are blardy expensive and I would have need to fork out extra $$, over and above what I've already paid.

If you look at the ring shank, see how it's neater than the previous one? Well, this was the earlier ring piece I made which took up so much of my time that I had to make the second ring in a rush to be able to get them to fire in time before the class ended.

You should be wondering about the white cast over this piece. Well, that's how metal clay looks like after firing. You need to polish them to remove the white cast (no idea what it is or how it ended up there o_O) and bring out the shine. All the other pieces were polished in a tumbler except this one.

Thinking back, I don't think this is the best way to make a rose ring. I should have used clay instead. Because it was a hollow rose, a relatively heavy one at that, it just did felt right. The weight of it as a ring I mean.

This piece could not be put into the tumbler for polishing because due to the cracks, it will just get smashed knocking against the other pieces and the stainless steel shots.

Well, I was told the only way to salvage the ring is this.

Cover the crack with oil paste and then add on more layers of on that area and send it inside the kiln for firing.

I of course did not go for this method. I did something more interesting with it. And that, you would need to check back to learn about it. ;)

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