Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Master Muse Project -- Innovative Metal Clay Clasp

Today is the day -- my first Master Muse project for Whole Lotta Whimsy is posted on Tonya Davidson's blog! It was an exciting morning to wake up and see how my seventy photos and eleven pages of text would be trimmed down to a synopsis of nine photos and seven steps. For those inventive souls (like me) who can usually figure out how to make a project just from a few hints, this one might be a big challenge.

As I mentioned several weeks ago, this clasp took me three iterations to get to a design that worked technically and aesthetically for me. I started with the inspiration of a ball chain connector, where a ball slides into a slot. Now I know that's called a keyhole clasp. During the course of my experiments, I learned several new tricks that I will employ extensively in the future, including my favorite clever (if I do say so myself) jump ring and ball inserts.

This is also the first announcement of my new textures available exclusively from Whole Lotta Whimsy next month! This first texture, titled Flock, is a large 4" square texture with tree branches, a nest, and many birds in various poses. I use this texture regularly for much of my recent work.

The tutorial also will be available in March in its full form, in a handy laminated bench-ready edition. Consider purchasing it to learn my approach on the following topics:

  1. making and using molds
  2. using my textures
  3. keyhole clasps
  4. 3D construction
  5. jump ring and ball connectors
  6. embedding bezel cups
  7. setting cabochons
  8. finishing, including patina and stringing

In the next few days, I'll finally be able to share more examples of variations on this clasp design and details about my trials and tribulations in developing it.