Monday, November 25, 2013

A Bevy of Bronzed Beauties

I've got a big show coming up Thanksgiving weekend, so I've been doing my best to hunker down in my studio to make more goodies to sell. In between long bead making sessions on the torch and quick snack runs for McD fries and chocolate chip frappes (hey, gotta keep the energy up, right?!), I've been having fun creating metal components that I will include in some of my jewelry designs.

I love to use Bronze Clay that I form into unique findings using a variety of shape cutters, rubber stamps, clay tools, texture plates, and molds I made with found objects—anything that has an interesting texture is fair game for me! Here is what they look like in their unfinished state, where they need to dry thoroughly before I can fire them in my kiln to burn away the binders and turn them into nice, shiny metal…

…and here is what my fingers look like after I've sanded and refined the shapes so the edges are nice and smooth…

This is actually a much *cleaner* version than what they looked like after I finished the entire batch—but I was afraid to use my camera then in case all that metal dust would get into it. Trust me, a coal miner might have better hands than mine at that point?! LOL As is often the case when I go into "panic production mode" the week before a show, my hands suffer all manner of chipped nails and a variety of stains from the paints, patinas, and other materials I use—so a nice manicure the day before the show is definitely on order to make sure I don't scare off my customers!

But the chaos and bruised vanity is well worth it, when I end up with beauties like these…

This is what they look like after they've been fired overnight in my kiln, polished, patina'd with liver of sulfur, and tumble polished again to a soft glow. I love the old gold color of Bronze, and the rustic elegance I can give it with the use of texture and a selective "aging" process. My favorites are the ammonite pendant and the long sea urchin findings I created with molds I made from the shells. I can't wait to turn them into some cool beachy necklaces!

I'll be sure to share the finished designs soon—or better yet, if you're in the area, you can stop by the EtsyRAIN Holiday show in Seattle to see them in person (click on the logo on the right sidebar for all the details)! And if you have any favorites of your own, please feel free to leave a comment to let me know! *Ü*


  1. Save your fingers use either a baby wipe or a q-tip dipped in water or in paste maker to refine those edges...

    1. Those are great tips, thanks so much! *Ü*


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