Friday, March 23, 2012

New Sterling Clay Brooch Designs

I was so close to putting a bronze carved treetop brooch into the kiln, and then I pressed an appliqué onto the back just a bit too firmly and cracked the piece. Although I've instituted repairs, I fear it's unlikely to be super successful, so I started a new version in silver.

Silver Lining brooch
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling silver

I cut out a new cloud shape 4 cards thick, then carved the sun and rays into the background. I left some edges plain, but the piece seemed to need something, so I added texture with the curls that carving creates. Finally I sculpted a flying bird and the treetop. By this time, I wasn't sure that the curls might be too much, but decided to fire it anyway.

Silver Lining brooch
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling silver
The back has the same appliqué that doomed the bronze brooch.

I'm suddenly a bit concerned about firing the brooch, as I had a set of small earring and pendant pieces come out of the kiln with bubbling on the backs, but with perfect fronts. Only the backs were in contact with carbon. As the fronts were open, I covered them with stainless steel screen before burying in carbon. So now I'm not sure if my kiln is running a few degrees too warm, or if the issue was that I attempted to work really thin at 2 cards. Back to thicker clay for the replacements, and perhaps dropping the temperature by a few degrees as well. Meanwhile, Silver Lining is in the kiln.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful piece, I really love the contrast of the carved background an sculpted forground!

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  2. Thanks, Wanaree! I'm finally getting back to some carving, which I love. Once upon a time, I carved a lot of bronze clay, but carving up silver seems way more adventurous.

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