Earrings with Accent Gold for Silver and Art Clay®
Gold Highlighted Earrings
-- Designer --
Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®To learn more about Tammy Honaman, read her jewelry artist success story here
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Complete step-by-step instructions for this Art Clay® design idea and more are included in the Secrets to Art Clay® Success DVD available here:
You'll find step-by-step instructions for this Earrings with Accent Gold for Silver and Art Clay® project and more Art Clay projects and tutorials in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' exclusive ''Secrets to Art Clay Success'' instructional video.
Tammy Honaman, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads online "Ask the Experts" host, author and noted jewelry-making expert, guides you through seven jewelry-designing projects where you'll learn the secrets of working with Art Clay precious metal materials.
Reference for the acrylic slats:
- Yellow is for a 2-card stack
- Green is for a 3-card stack
- Light blue is for 4-card stack
- Red is for a 6-card stack
Lightly oil your roller, the texture plates you'll be working with, your work surface and hands.
Unwrap your clay and condition it by pressing the clay between your fingers for a few seconds.
Tip: If you can only cut out one earring from the textured sheet of clay, repeat Steps 1-4 to create a second component, making sure to match the first (or not!).
Tip: The hole doesn't have to be large, just big enough so you can insert the tip of a needle file after the component dries.
Tip: This design addition is smooth in the finished earring example, but can be textured if you'd prefer.
Tip: The light bulb will help dome the surface of the earring components. You can lay them onto a non-stick sheet if you'd prefer the earrings to be flat.
Once the components are dry, double check that the two layers adhered together in Step 6 are sealed together and no gaps are present. If there are gaps, fill in with paste-type clay. Let the components dry.
Tip: Be careful not to make the holes too large--you need enough clay around the holes so the structure of the earring is sound.
Continue to refine the components using the salon nail boards, sandpapers and polishing papers, working from the lowest to highest grit. Once refined, be sure to clean the surface so there are no loose particles remaining or they will fire into place leaving a rough textured surface.
While wearing a mask and working outdoors, tear two small lumps from the fiber blanket. The fiber blanket will be used under the domed earring components to maintain the domed shape during firing, so make the lumps a size that fits the domed area.
While working in a well ventilated area, place the lumps of fiber blanket onto the kiln shelf, then place the earring components on top of the lumps of fiber blanket. Fire the kiln following the manufacturer's recommended temperature and time; let the components cool to room temperature.
Firing the Earrings with a Butane Torch
While working in a well ventilated area on a heat-proof surface: place the fire block onto the heat-proof surface. Place one lump of fiber blanket onto the fire block, then place one component on top of the lump of fiber blanket. Fill the butane torch with butane fuel and set the timer for 2-1/2 minutes. For safety purposes, have a pair of long handled tweezers and a bowl of cold water near where you are working; put on your safety glasses.
Tip: If you see the component begin to look silvery, or it if begins to shine, it is getting too hot. Pull the flame away a bit but continue to heat the component; the component should return to the glowing stage. Continue to heat the component until the timer indicates the 2-1/2 minutes have elapsed.
Allow the component to cool to room temperature.
Place the cooled component onto the rubber block. Brush the surface of the silver area using the steel wire brush to bring up the shine. Go over the gold surface using the agate burnisher, working in small circular strokes. Complete the polishing by applying a dab of metal polish with a soft, lint-free cloth and rubbing onto the surface of the earring components. Follow this with the Moonshine® polishing cloth.
Using the wire cutters, cut two equal lengths of chain 11-links long (or any length with an uneven number); set them aside.
Tip: To blunt cut the end, place the flat side of the flush-cutters closest to the wire; trim off a small piece so the end is flat and not pointed.
Position the end of the wire between the barrels of the round-nose pliers, about half-way down the barrels. Rotate your wrist away from you, forming a simple loop. While holding the wire so the loop is coming up toward you, reposition the round-nose pliers, working in the same area on the barrel and right below the loop you just created. Rotate your wrist away from you, forming a second simple loop and what should look like a figure eight.
Repeat Step 16 for the other side of the earring component.
Open one jumpring. Link the open jumpring through the center link in the length of chain attached to the earring as well as through the loop on the earring finding; close the jumpring.
Repeat Steps 16 - 17 to finish the second earring.
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is proud to feature your artwork, and we invite you to submit images of your favorite projects to the Customer photographs section. Here's how you can be included:
- Email your name and attached image to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please describe your project (ie: necklace, bracelet, home décor) and include the main components of your design, if known.
- If you've named your piece, please let us know!
- Photos should be a minimum of 500x500 pixels (or 6.94 inches)
- To best showcase your artwork, place dark designs on a light background and light artwork on a dark background.
- For additional photography tips, click here.