Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silver clay get together

In early September, Michele and Judy came over for a silver clay play date.  Michele had some ArtClay from a kit she bought, and we ran out to Artist & Display to get some ArtClay for Judy.  Unfortunately, ArtClay is not my favorite, but that is all A&D sells.  It was too late in the day to go farther afield.  After Michele and Judy worked with it and saw how much longer I could work with my PMC3, they decided it wasn't their favorite, either.  We had a good time, however, and we made a number of pieces.

The following pictures will show the process I've previously discussed in other blogs:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4, but each picture shows a different piece.  Yeah, I know that doesn't make sense.  But we were chatting, eating chips, passing the camera around, and trying to get Michele's torch to work.  Here's a sample of the hilarity that ensued throughout the day:

We were lucky to get any pieces done.

Here are Michele (left) and Judy (right) working with their clay:

Just to prove I was there, here's my hand rolling out some clay with my very high tech PVC pipe roller:

I set cubic zirconias and gems in some of the pieces using syringe clay.  Since the syringe clay is single use, I had to use it up.  Here is one of the pieces I made:

As I was just reminded... squiggly heart was my husband's idea.  :)  He suggested I use one of my cutters and squiggle the syringe into it so it would conform to the shape.  This was a good idea but a little difficult.  I did another one with a flower cutter which you can see in the last picture.

After the pieces dried, we filed off any rough edges.  Then it was off to the torch.  We used my fire-safe brick on top of the stove so nothing would accidentally be set aflame.  Here's Michele:

And here's a close up of the torching.  Once the piece gets to be a little "peachier" than this color, you keep torching it for about 2 and a half minutes:

Once the piece is fired, you can drop it into a glass of water to cool it quickly, using tweezers, of course.  Otherwise, you'll be running your hand under cold water for many hours.

Using a wire brush, you take all of the white residue off:

You have to be a bit careful with this step, too... those little wires like to find their way under cuticles and nails.

In Michele's kit there was a rubber block.  That got passed around as well as my camera.  It was very nice, and I may have to invest in one.  Here is one of Michele's pieces on the block.  She used a stamp I've used before - it makes a very nice impression in the silver clay.

After filing, we put some of the pieces in liver of sulfur to darken them up.  Those then got polished and burnished to brighten up the raised parts, leaving the indentations darker.  Some of the pieces we left shiny.

The last picture is of all the pieces we made.  Some haven't been completely polished yet after the livering of sulfuring, so you can see how that looks.  Judy and Michele both had small packages of ArtClay, and I had a large one of PMC3 plus a syringe, so most of the pieces you'll see are mine.

We had a lot of fun, and Judy has gone on to take an official PMC class from Irina Miech at Eclectica, and she's talking about taking the certification class in March.  I've created a monster!


  1. Deb and I took Irina's certification course, Traci! It is very good and talk about creating a monster, if Judy thinks she's hooked now, just wait!

  2. I can see creation of a monster coming with that certification class! After the 3 of us had so much fun @ Traci's, I took Irina's Intro to Metal Clay class. That was a blast too!

  3. Hi Traci,

    Fun blog!

    I just thought I'd mention that the syringe doesn't have to be used all at one time. You can submerse the tip in a cup of water, or purchase a syringe keeper, which will keep the syringe in perfect working order for many many months!

    Keep up the great work and fun experimentation.

    Here's to creative bliss!