At the bench again!

imageSo now I’ve finished my second lentil bead and now I’m thinking the polishing, buffing and finishing is the most challenging. I ended up doing a lot of filing, sanding and more sanding on the finished piece. It isn’t perfect but I like where I’m going with this style bead.

Inspired by Laura Bracken’s blog in which she chronicles her experiences with metal clay, both the good and the ugly, I’ve decided to keep track of my next metal clay project.  I’m more motivated now that I have my new kiln but, also, a little intimidated. That digital programming stuff!

For my next project, I’m planning to work the greenware until it is PERFECT, as everything I read says that is the easiest way. Another lentil in the making.

To stir things up a bit, I spent Saturday in a metal clay class with Karen Simmons and now I love silver clay more, again! Learned lots about which stones I can fire and some really cool techniques for setting cz in silver clay. Mastered the ring sizing, well at least until I see if this next project fits. There are all sorts of shrinkage issues depending on clay and you have to allow for that. Karen’s method gets you really close and with the tapping to enlarge or refiring for a “little” more shrink, I can get pretty close.

What I have realized is that bronze clay, though easy to form, mold, carve and shape, it is much more difficult to work with during the firing phase, but I still love the rich heavy feel of bronze.