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by Tracey Spurgin of craftworx.co.uk
The Raden technique is an ancient skill from Japan that takes wafer thin slivers of mother of pearl shell and embeds it into resin to add an iridescent shimmer and sparkle.
Tracey delivers a full programme of silver clay workshops from her own studio in Yorkshire but travels far and wide to other venues such as colleges, galleries and art centres, to deliver a range of workshops that appeal to the complete beginner as well as the progressing enthusiast. Learners are inspired and gain knowledge and confidence in working with metal clay.
step 1. Cut out the paper pattern accurately and prepare all the rest of your tools in front of you.
step 2. Breakoff half the clay to roll out onto a none-stick surface using 1mm spacer bars.
Generously apply badger balm to the paper to prevent it sticking to the clay. Lay the paper pattern on top of the clay. Use a clay pick or needle tool to cut around the outline.
step 3. Generously apply badger balm to a cocktail stick. Lay the stick along the length of the shaft. Now wrap the clay around the cocktail stick until the edges meet. Use a little paste or syringe to adhere the edges together. Shape the petal into an attractive shape. Set to dry in the oven on 130°C for a minimum of 20mins.
step 4. the first flower petal is dry, sand and refine using sanding grits and polishing papers to achieve a smooth and flawless look.
step 5. Use the first flower petal to create a mould using the two part silicone moulding compound. This will help to cradle the second piece during drying to achieve symmetry or a matching pair of earrings.
step 6. Fire the pieces then wire brush and polish to the desired shine. Insert a ball end head pin through the shaft. Use black permanent marker pen to provide the background colour on the inside area of the petal. When dry, apply a very thin layer of resin then insert the shell fragments and cure under UV light. Finally, apply one last layer of the resin and cure again.
Materials and Tools
10g Silver Art Clay
1mm spacer bars
A little syringe
Badger balm or olive oil
Clay picks or Craft knife
Clear UV Resin
Mother of Pearl
UV light box
Tel: 07961 883115
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Silver clay is an amazing material not only does it come in a lump clay form, paste and syringe there is also a product called PMC
sheet. It behaves much like a piece of paper or fabric in this simple project Tracey uses basic origami techniques to make an effective design.
Tracey is a senior Art Clay instructor, teaching from her own studio and offering demonstrations and courses all over the UK and internationally, she is a regular writer for UK and international jewellery making magazine, and now has just joined the team of guest designers on Jewellery maker TV. She has more than fifteen years teaching experience and delivers with passion and enthusiasm on all her favorite subject of silver Clay.
step 1: Use PMC sheet, this comes in a square sheet or strip the strip measure 12 x 3 cm. Cut the strip a 3cm squares, from
the strip, using a very sharp craft knife metal rule and cutting mat.
step 2: Fold the piece in half from edge to edge, on each side then unfold and refold in half from corner to corner diagonally.
This will create the folds as seen in the illustration.
step 3: First fold on half again then, push the two sides together to bring all four corners, to meet at the top.
step 4: Fold out each of the four spines to create a pocket cone, press firmly to crease the sides ensure the spine meets
the centre line.
step 5: Open the pocket cone once again; gently ease the edges towards the centre line. This will need gentle encouragement to fold correctly.
step 6: Repeat this action on all four sides of the pocket cones, if fingers are to big use tweezers but be carful not to pierce the sheet.
step 7: There are two options with this fold to complete, Option one – pinch the centre and fold out the tallest centers to
create petals of a lily, at a few balled head pins in the centre as stamens.
step 8: Using a sugar craft daisy centre punch press out a small amount of clay, allow to dry, then sand a little to tidy it up.
step 9: Use a very tiny amount of syringe to adhere the centre to the star. Take great care too much water will result in the paper clay beginning to dissolve.
step 10: To make a bail cut a very small strip of paper clay 1x0.5cm using a tiny amount of water create a tube and hold till the water bonds the tube together. Secure this to the back of the pendant with a tiny amount of water. Allow the piece to dry toughly before firing in a kiln at 850ºC for 20 minutes.
step 11: Very gently wire brush or use radial discs on a rotary tool to polish the piece to a high shine, once fired use a grit to dull off the corners they can be quite sharp, a quick bath of liver of sulpher will oxidize the piece, use soft cloth to polish to remove the excess patina.
Materials and Tools
1 3x3cm piece of PMC sheet
sharpe craft knife
metal ruler, cutting mat
daisy centre punch
a little paste or syringe
paper to try the pattern
extra projects… We all made
fortune tellers as children, cut a
square of PMC sheet 3cm square
to make the fortune teller, add
a very tiny amount of syringe
into the centre. Drill a hole for
a jump ring.
Paper windmills make fun
Tel: 07961 883115
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art clay - the celtic love knot
The interlacing pattern of this Celtic Knot with no beginning and no end symbolises eternity
Draw or source a Celtic Knot design on paper, use a sharp craft knife to cut around the outline.
Accuracy is key to the success of this piece you need to also check the symmetry of the outline, do this by folding it in half to check.
Use a little badger balm or olive oil on a work surface. Roll out the clay 1.5mm thick. Apply a generous coating of badger balm to the paper template. Use a needle tool to cut around the outline and pierce into the clay to remove the apertures of the design.
While the clay is still soft use the tip of the needle tool to mark out the design in the clay, next allow this to dry thoroughly.
Use sanding grits and files to refine the outline and the apertures of the design and then use a triangular file around the knotted design to define the shape of the interlacing pattern.
To add the textured surface use a needle tool to make small scratch lines, following the flow of the knotted design.
To make a bail cut out a strip of clay 0.5cm wide roll over a straw and allows to dry. Once dry, carefully remove the straw, file and refine the bail and use a little paste to adhere to the main body of the pendent.
Dry once more.
Fire the whole piece kiln fire 8ooºC for 15 mins torch fire for a minimum of 6minutes or fire on the gas hob for about 10 minutes.
Quench, wire brush oxidize in Liver of sulpher and polish with a soft cloth and metal polish.
20g Art Clay Silver
1.5mm spacer bars
Craft knife or needle tool
A little paste or syringe
Paper to draft pattern
To create the scratch design apply a damp paint brush to the surface of the clay first, this will make the scratch texture easier to achieve. Before using your needle tool dip it into the badger balm, it will glide like butter through your clay and not leave any dragging.
Further information can be found at: