Monday, June 08, 2009

Bronze Clay Rings at Bead and Button

The other bronze clay class that I took with Celie Fago was a primitive rings class. Primitive in this instance meant simple shapes cut from flat clay and then carved.

Once again, I just adored the carving process. We got to fire two rings each. My first ring was very "Celie-esque," with lots of tribal carving. It's lined with black polymer clay to prevent finger discoloration from the bronze and to deal with the issue of unreliable sizing due to inconsistent shrinkage in bronze clay firings.

For my second ring, I deviated from the prescribed process. I cut out my blank ring in a thick wedge shape, then quickly blocked out the mass for a bird carving. After drying in the dehydrator over lunch, I went to work removing clay with a scalpel. Since I had carved a bird bead earlier in the week, this was a simple extension. I left the carving marks all over the ring, as I was reluctant to invest more time with the unpredictable bronze clay until I saw some success.

Both rings had a beautiful patina coming out of the kiln. I polished the surface, leaving the patina in the depressions on both rings. That was more successful on the tribal ring than the bird ring. Torch patina didn't give me a particularly nice patina on the bird, probably because there was too much mass for the small portable torch. I'm going to do some patina experiments at home soon and have ordered chemicals.

Here are the class samples that Celie made, to compare.


  1. Beautiful, Vickie!
    Do you remember the approx. amount of clay a ring took to make?
    I've been wanting to dabble in carving but have been too chikkin to try, lol.

  2. These are soooo cool! Your work is really gorgeous and these rings are awesome. I hope you'll put some in your etsy store...I know I'd love to get one.

  3. These rings are gorgeous, your work is amazing and I love all the pieces you made. It must be great to take a class with Celie,



  4. Hard for me to tell, but I cut four thick rings from a 200g pack, with quite a bit left over. I'd say 25g, maybe a bit more, depending on how big you make it.

  5. Thanks! I know I'd love to see a pic w/ you wearing it once you have it finished- love how you did your own thing w/ the bird carving.
    From what I hear Celie is an awesome teacher- lucky girl ;)

  6. OH MY Vickie!

    All these things you made are amazing! Your bracelet and rings are so nice. I want to touch them. It IS fun to carve into the clay I agree.

    And those bells are so beautiful! I wish I could travel around in your pocket and see everything you are doing. Thanks for playing along and writing up a list and letting me see it. I loved reading it. You are marvelous!


  7. Anonymous9:56 AM

    Your work is amazing! It's so exciting to look at! Love the birds!