wire ... metal ... fibre .... unique handcrafted jewelry and accessories for men and women

Monday, May 3, 2010

telling tales: fine silver daisy ring

daisy ring side, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

continuing the story behind the pieces for the Blackberry Artist's Society featured artist display this month.

When I first started making jewelry all my connections were 'cold' ie. I didn't solder or use heat to join pieces together. There's an amazing amount of work that can be accomplished just using this type of process and there's also the comfort from not playing around with fire.

...... but then the call of the fire becomes too strong!

The flower ring above was made in two stages. The flower itself is almost pure silver (sterling silver is only 92.5% pure in comparison) and was made by pressing art clay silver into a mould while still damp. Once dry, the flower can be gently tapped out then fired (encounter with fire #1) to temperature for two minutes, burning off the organic binder and leaving the pure metal.

art clay mould work

It is mounted on a sterling silver ring shank which I cut, formed and soldered (encounter with fire #2) myself.

The mould itself is an amazingly intricate work of art in itself. After some late night chat in the Etsy forums I found that Lisa (seaurchin - yes, she is an Aardman model maker IRL!) was looking for people to test out her handmade ceramic moulds. I sent her a message and before long two beautiful moulds arrived, one fired and one plaster, all the way from England. My part of the bargain was to catalogue the steps I took testing them out with art clay silver.

Both moulds worked excellently. The plaster one is less robust and will make a very limited run of pieces but the fired daisy flower should go on and on, fitting right in with the garden inspiration for a lot of my work.

oxidised fine silve pendant
inverno fine silver pendant

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