Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

A Tale of Two Rings.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/01/26

I made another attempt at a double-fire ring. I’m still in experimental mode, but the second one exhibited some definite improvements.

Two Double-Fire Rings.

On the left is the first one I tried using this particular double-fire approach, mentioned in my last post. Note where the shank meets the top section of the ring. On the right side (of the left ring), there’s a bit of a lump, where the shank that had already been fired did not shrink any more, leading the new clay to leave that lump there as it tried to shrink. On the left side of that ring, the problem is even worse: the clay didn’t simply form a lump, it actually cracked! On the bottom edge, by the way, both sides had the “lump” seen on the right side above. I know that a bit of patching and filing could make both of those problems disappear, but this is an experiment, so I’m not going to take the time to do that. I’ll wear it like that and see how it holds up.

But now, on the right, is my second attempt. Instead of topping it with a narrow, rectangular band, I tried a round one. This one did not exhibit either the lumping or the cracking.

Hmmm. I wonder how much of the difference was because there was just a tad more clay on either side of where the shank was attached, and how much was because it was a circle rather than a rectangle much wider than it was high? Suggests areas for further experimentation, doesn’t it?

(If you’re curious about this method, you may want to check out the work of Kate McKinnon. She is one of the leading designers to make rings this way, but as I recall the ones of hers that I have seen, I think they’ve tended to be round or square or some other shape with more “consistent” dimensions in various directions. Her (very interesting) book, Structural Metal Clay, does talk about making such rings, but does not include details like that.)

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