Well this Sunday I was delighted to return for another PMC course called "A ring in a day". Just as it says on the tin, this is exactly what we did! It was a very intensive day and we only got a 30 minute lunch break, every one was so absorbed in their work. Please excuse the quality of my photos, silver is SO hard to photograph, flash on wipes it out, flash off it seems a little gloomy.
This is my completed ring, not fully polished but in a near finished state.
..........it is in this piece of foil wrapping as a blob of clay on the right side of the photo. This is my workbench as we got started. We had to condition and roll the clay out, on this piece of Teflon in the centre, into a ring shank shape.
We then had to texture the clay and carefully wrap it around the ring mandrel which had been marked up to our ring size. It is quite fiddly to work with and needs to be kept moist and not dry out until the shape is final. You also need to use plenty of olive oil to stop the clay sticking to everything.
Next we had to carefully remove the ring and put it on a hot plate to dry thoroughly. The clay is SO fragile at this stage if dropped it shatters and sadly the girl's sitting next to me did just that :0(
Once fully dried it was filed smooth at the edges.
The seam was also filled with clay "paste" which acts in a similar way to the use of "slip" in pottery making. I then decided that I would like to find out how to set stones in PMC so I bought a 4mm cubic zirconia stone from the tutor. These stones are heat proof and will not crack when being fired.
I had to use a drill bit and then a burring bit to make the hole for the stone to sit in.
I then put in the stone and used PMC paste in the form of a "piping" syringe to make a bezel setting and a pattern on the ring shank.
This was all carefully dried off again and then fired in the kiln. At this point the fragile clay becomes solid silver. It really is incredible to see.
When I got home I tried to get some better shots;
I also found it actually went rather well with a heart ring my Hb had made for me 2 Christmas' ago. I may well wear them as a "set".
I really enjoyed playing again with "Marvellous Precious Metal Clay". I may even attend a 3 day summer school in July to further enhance my skills in using this wonderful silver medium. Oh the thoughts of summer.......... :0)
Bye for now,