Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowed in, but thinking Spring

So, like I said yesterday, we have about 40 inches of snow on the ground.  But, I've decided to start thinking of Spring!

This is the time of year that I stock up the stores with new designs for the spring.  I love making new pieces.  The first thing I do when I begin the jewelry designing process is to create pieces of silver from precious metal clay.  After I create my pieces, let them dry, and sand them, I put them in the Kiln to fire.  After 2 hours of firing at 1650 degrees, all the water and binder that make the silver clay pliable burn off and I am left with a piece of fine silver.

After I get the silver pieces out of the Kiln, I have to brush them and put them in a tumbler for 2 hours to bring out the shine of the silver.  Now, this next step may seem a bit crazy, but then I turn them black with antiquing solution. Now it's time for an 8 step process of light sanding papers to bring back that high shine to all the raised parts of the silver while leaving the dark color in the details of the design. Next week when I make silver again, I will take photo's of each step to show you the process.

This first piece I used Liver of Sulfur to get more of a bronze type finish:
Now, it's time for the fun of creating a piece of wearable art!  I did some bending, some beading, some wire work and this is what I ended up with:
 I used garnet and amethyst  to add a little sparkle to this sculptured piece of silver. 

This next piece of silver, I used Black Max to antique it and then after polishing added a swarovski crystal.

After beading, this is the necklace that I created:
The process of creating jewelry involves many steps, but each step of the way brings the final design closer.  Well, it's time to go up to my studio and start creating!  Thanks for checking in with me.  I will do a blog next week with more details about the precious metal clay (pmc) process.  If any of you are interested in working with pmc or have starting working with it and have questions, please feel free to ask!  I have learned a lot about the process from taking classes and trail and error, so I know what it's like to be learning a new skill and feel like you have a million questions and aren't sure where to turn.  I welcome your questions!



Allison said...

Happy Valentines Day Stacie!
love the butterfly... and i think the wire worked piece adds so much to your collection! Keep 'em coming.

stacie said...

Thanks for the feedback! Thanks for the butterfly stamp that you gave me so that I could make this cool necklace! Btw, I can't seem to part with this one...guess I'll have to make another to sell!