Toggle Clasp with PMC3™ Precious Metal Clay and Peridot Gemstone Cabochons
-- 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 shape for your toggle. Increase the shape by 10 percent to allow for the shrinkage that occurs during firing. Cut out the shape and the opening in the center.
Apply a non-stick coating to your work surface, tools and your hands. Roll out the clay to 4-cards thick.
Transfer the sheet of clay to your chosen texture. Roll the clay to 3-cards thick.
Transfer the clay to a non-stick sheet.
Place the paper pattern onto the clay. Using the tip of a beading needle or an awl, cut out the shape for your toggle and the center opening of the toggle.
Using a wet paintbrush, clean up the edges of the clay. Set the clay aside to dry.
Clean off your work surface. Pinch off a piece of clay and shape into a thick rope. Using the bead roller, roll the rope of clay into a thinner rope that suits the size toggle bar you would like for your toggle clasp.
Optional: Roll the rope of clay on the textured mat to match the texture in your toggle.
Using the clay blade, trim the length of the toggle bar so it is suitable in length--it should span beyond the width of the toggle.
If necessary, use a wet paintbrush to clean up the edges of the rope.
Repeat Step 4 to form a thin rope. Wind the rope of clay around a thin straw.
Set the straw onto supports that suspend the straw so the coil of clay is not resting on a flat surface; allow it to dry.
Using sanding boards and polishing papers, refine the surface, edges and back of the dry toggle and toggle bar.
Using a wet paintbrush, apply a bit of water to the first area where you are addinga gemstone; allow the water to absorb into the clay. Apply an area of syringe claythat is slightly larger than the stone, so it is 2-3mm high. Using tweezers, place the stone into the center of the syringe clay.
Using the end of the tweezers, press down onto the center top of the stone so the clay comes up along the edges of the stone and begins to form the bezel.
Using a wet paintbrush, press the clay into a neat bezel, surrounding the stone and up high enough to keep the stone in place.
Repeat Steps 7 and 8 to set as many stones as you would like. Make the bezels as neat as they can be, then set the toggle aside to dry.
Slide the coil off of the straw. Using the clay blade, cut the rings of the coil apart then trim off the lower third of one ring.
Hold the top of the cut ring using tweezers. Glide the ends of the ring across a sanding board, to ensure the "feet" of the ring are flat and even.
Apply a bit of water on the underside of the toggle where the refined ring will go. While holding the ring with tweezers, dip the "feet" into metal clay paste. Set the ring into place on the toggle.
Allow the clay to dry. Repeat adding a cut ring to the toggle bar.
Allow the kiln to cool to room temperature so the stones can cool slowly. If you open the kiln door too early, the stones could be shocked and crack.
Once the kiln is to room temperature, remove the toggle and toggle bar. Burnish using the steel wire brush or other finishing techniques of your choice.
The brush will offer a brushed satin finish. If you brush then tumble the clasp with steel shot in a tumbler, it will offer the finish as you see in the finished toggle on the facing page.
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