Friday, August 03, 2012

Sterling Clay Pendants and Fused Chain

For whatever reason, it seems I make earrings more than anything else, followed by pins and bracelets. I don't make enough pendants or necklaces, so this week I decided to make a few for an upcoming show. The first is the simplest of five-petal flowers and leaves sandwiched together, with what is becoming my trademark leaf drop. While searching for misplaced wire, I found an old stash of snake chains that are perfect for hanging such simple pendants.

Anemone pendant
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling clay
Then I decided to made a treetop pendant. I reverted to the triangular shape that often appeals to me, but I flipped it over so that I could hang an entire row of leaves from the bottom. Having trouble deciding how to do the bail, I finally settled on two half jump rings on either side in the back. Since a chain would show if just run through the two loops, I needed to affix jump rings to either side.

Canopy pendant
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling clay, Argentium wire
That led me to thinking about how I've been wanting to make my own chain. So I pulled out the jump ring maker, never before used, and cranked out my first completely fused Argentium chain, which was easy but tedious. I consider it great training in heat control, with few links melted or deformed. There are actually soldered links next to the leaves that break up the chain, but at the very end I was able to fuse the links next to pendant, as I developed more skill in holding the piece with only the joint exposed to the flame.

Warbler 2 earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling clay, Argentium wire

Of course, I still made earrings!

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