Convergent Series

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

Another great thing about domes.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/04/16

I thought, with my last post, that I was done with entries about the Month of Earrings Challenge. But I admit, I had been wondering what happened to Vickie Hallmark afterwards.

Catching up with her blog earlier today, it turns out she took quite a tumble, with some serious (but one certainly hopes, only short-term) consequences.

Vickie Hallmark's Master Muse Ring
Vickie’s Master Muse Ring

Still, I was delighted to see that the announcement of Vickie’s latest project for Tonya Davidson’s Master Muses made it up on Wednesday. It’s for a lovely ring: a heavy-gauge wire shank topped with a PMC bezel holding a dome of torch-fired enamel. I really like this project! Here are just a few reasons why:

– The heavy-wire shank is (at least, currently) one of my favorite ways to make rings that incorporate metal clay. (Structurally, I like any form of shank-ring more than either simple band or bypass styles.)

– Even more, I’ve already noted that I like making domed-shape pieces, and this project illustrates yet another reason why. (I wish I’d been blogging longer, so I could’ve managed to get around to posting this reason sooner, but I’m happy to be able to use this project as my illustration.)

Because of the way metal clay pieces shrink a little as they dry, and even more as they are fired, it can be a bit tricky to get a bezel to come out exactly the right size to match what you are going to set inside it. But, if what you’re setting is a metal disk (regardless of the metal, and whether it’s made from regular sheet metal, or a piece of metal clay that’s been fired to pure metal), as you increase (or decrease) the amount of doming, you slowly reduce (or enlarge, respectively) the size of the disk’s circumference.

What that means is that, if you have a bezel that should shrink, in firing, to a size close to that of your dome, yet the two pieces don’t quite match, it is possible to increase or decrease the amount of doming to force the edge of the disk into the size you need.  Brilliant!

2 Responses to “Another great thing about domes.”

  1. Thanks for the vote of brilliance on the doming, so effectively counteracted by my lack of brilliance in simple walking. I WILL get back to the Month of Earrings Challenge soon and do that promised drawing. I just have to get out of the rehab hospital first.


    • C Scheftic said

      Don’t worry about rushing to get back: they won’t keep you in rehab hospital unless they think you need to be there! And even afterwards, give yourself the time you need to heal smoothly.

      FYI, before I could finish the post at your blog, your comment that you “took a bad step” caused brief flashbacks to the time, late March several years ago, when I went to an Escher exhibit at the National Gallery and, as I was leaving, found myself Ascending and Descending (i.e., walking up and falling down) the gallery’s stairs at the same time. And “getting back” involved, along with everything else, going from DC to VA to MD, then to southwest PA, then a flight to southern CA, then back to central CA where I was then living and working.

      I’ve never looked at Escher the same way since…


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