Convergent Series

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

Speaking of Box-with-Pearl Pendants….

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/05/25

Even though my last post did open with a comment about silver projects, it may have been a bit misleading. So, just for the record, while silver is great for making the pendants described there, not required! It is, for example, perfectly possible to make the Box Pendant with an Inset Pearl in bronze.

After making several samples to use in discussing various aspects of the design and mechanics of the project, I thought of one other issue regarding placement of the pearl in relation to the hanging mechanism that I wanted to remember to mention in class. Rather than sink more money into making yet another silver piece to illustrate this, I figured I might as well make it in bronze. (I’ve got a couple workshops, after the pearl box pendant one, that will use bronze in various ways, so I can also use this as a way to segue into that in class….)

I didn’t have any bronze wire in the right gauge to use for setting the pearl, so I tried a piece of copper I had that was the right size. And, hmph, it broke off as I was trimming it to size. (This was jewelry-grade copper, and I fired it just to the bronze-sintering temperature, so it should have held up…) The good news is that at least it broke off perfectly flush with the little plug into which I’d set it. So, rather than attach the pearl to that post, I simply attached it directly to the plug. Not ideal, but it’ll work for a demo. I’ll have to get some bronze wire that size because, in other gauges, it’s held up just fine through even multiple firings. And wear this piece around for a while, to verify that such an alternative connection will hold well enough.

It’s a tough job, wearing all this jewelry, but someone has to do it…..

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