My Art Clay Silver starter kit arrived this week (more details in this post), and I was patient enough to wait until the weekend to try it out (which also meant that the eye infection I had had cleared up, which was helpful, as I needed to be able to see what I was doing :D).
I was very excited about trying it out. So much so that I just went ahead and starting playing with the clay, instead of calmly taking photos. So the photos start halfway through the process – sorry!
The clay looks a disappointingly dull grey when it comes out of the packet, and there’s not much of it. At all. So you have to be vewy carefuw with it. [/Elmer Fudd] I spent a long time deciding what to make, as there were so many things to try. I really wanted to make myself a ring, but had read that it wasn’t the easiest thing for a beginner to try, so I settled on making a pendant.
I assembled the required kit on the
ironing board craft worktable, rolled out the clay and then cut out the shape I wanted. Fortunately I had some cutter shapes left over from my polymer clay work, so I was able to use one of those. I cut out a star shape, gave it texture using a metal button I had (yes, had to get buttons in here somewhere) and pierced a hole in the top of the star, ready for a jump ring later on. The clay was then baked in the oven for about 20 minutes to dry it out. Once dry, you can file and smooth any rouch edges on the piece. I did this, although clearly not as thoroughly as I should’ve – see quality control comments later. *tuts*
Now for the exciting bit.
Yeah, it doesn’t look much now…but just you wait!
Anyway, the clay piece was placed onto the fire block (which itself was resting on an old wooden chopping board), I lit the torch, and began to fire the clay.
Once the clay starts to heat up, the organic binders burn away, and the piece bursts into flames for a few seconds. I’m making it sound way more dramatic than it actually is, but it’s my blog, and I likes a bit o’ drama.
See? Glowy. Pretty.
The clay is still white and dull – it looks pretty much the same as it did after drying out in the oven. But this is where it all gets a bit magical. Using a wire brush, you gently brush the clay to reveal the sparkly silver.
You can just about see the difference between the brushed silver side and the unbrushed, white side.
However, I wanted to make it shinier, so I used different grades of sandpaper, some silver polish and a cloth, to finish the piece. And here it is:
Anyway, for a first attempt, I am pleased with it. I will definitely be making more metal clay items in future. I want to investigate the possibilities of adding items to the silver clay after firing as well…*mysterious*