Brooch with PMC3 (Precious Metal Clay)
-- 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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Sketch a heart with wings. The design shown has multiple layers of progressively smaller wings, as well as a heart for the center. To accomplish this same effect, make one sketch that incorporates all the layers, make multiple copies of the sketch and then, using scissors, cut out each layer.
Lightly oil your hands, roller, work surface and textures of your choice. Open the package of clay and remove about 15 grams. Compress it between your fingers a few times then place it between blue slats (4 cards or 1mm thickness). Using an acrylic roller or brayer, roll over the clay 1-2 times. Flip the clay over and roll again. Repeat until the clay is level with the guide and has a shape that is suitable to your design.
Transfer the clay to the lightly oiled texture. Place the green slats (0.75mm) on either side of the clay yet on top of the texture; roll the clay out.
Carefully transfer the clay, right side up, onto a Teflon® worksheet. Place the cutout of the complete outline of your sketched design on top of the textured clay surface. Using the tip of a beading awl or fine knitting needle, cut out the shape.
Put the Teflon sheet aside so the clay can dry.
Roll out clay to a 3-card thickness (thickness of the green slats). Repeat Step 3 to cut out the other shapes in your design. Allow each piece to dry.
Note: If you’d like, you can use a brass Kemper® cutter for cutting out the heart in the center of the design.
Using a progression of the polishing papers, from lowest to highest grit/micron, refine the surface and edges of the cut out pieces of clay until they are smooth.
Using a paintbrush, apply a bit of water to the center of the textured layer of your design and to the back side of the heart. Use the paintbrush to apply a bit of slip to the back side of the heart then carefully put it in place on the textured layer. Press down gently but with enough force so that the two layers are well connected. Use the tip of the paintbrush and a small amount of water to clean up any excess slip that may have oozed out.
Note: Do not remove too much slip, as you want to have enough to fill in the space between the two layers so they are connected as one but not so much that it affects the texture.
Repeat Step 6 to add the next layer of wings. Allow all the pieces to dry. Repeat Step 6 again to add the next layer of wings. Allow the piece to dry completely.
Using a progression of polishing papers, refine any areas that need a touch up.
Once dry, use a pencil to draw a mark on each side of the wings where you want to place the brooch findings.
Note: It is best to place brooch findings above center so the brooch hangs properly when worn (not flopping forward).
Using the paintbrush, apply water to one of the marked areas. Press a small (3-4mm) amount of clay at the pencil mark then press in one-half of the brooch finding.
Using the tip of a beading awl, the paintbrush or other suitable tool, clean up the clay so the join between the clay and the finding is secure and neat.
Set aside to dry then repeat adding the other half of the brooch finding on the other side of the wings. Allow the fresh clay to dry completely. Refine using the polishing papers as needed.
- Use a burnisher to bring out highlights across the top of the surfaces, leaving the lower areas matte.
- Tumble the pendant in a tumbler along with stainless steel shot and burnishing solution.
- Patina the pendant using patina gel.
- Follow the patina with a polishing pad to bring out the highlights in the design, leaving the recesses with the patina still in place.
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