Convergent Series

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

Posts Tagged ‘box’

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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Another Round (Oblong, Square…) of Box Pendants.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/05/23

Recent posts might have you thinking that I’ve been focused solely on various bronze and copper projects. While I have been having fun with those, I’ve been making plenty of silver pieces as well!

And, despite the comment in my last post about spending time over the summer exploring new approaches, much of my time is already scheduled for a range of activities, jewelry- and other-wise! In addition to trying out new designs and approaches in the art-jewelry side of my life (the Three Rivers Arts Festival is fast approaching!), I’ve also got classes set for several shops, more under discussion, and I’m collecting information from folks who’d like to come to my studio for workshops too. (Since I’m in control of the studio schedule, I can set things up there by request on much shorter notice!)

Last year, I taught a number of workshops involving reversible pendants, where both lentil beads and box-style pendants included the option of a sort of shadow-box opening. In those, we either textured the “inside” of the side opposite the opening, or layered a small decorative element onto it. Either of those could be viewed through the opening. I’m planning some new versions for this year: the first one will be a box-style pendant but this time the opening will hold an inset pearl.

Participants will not be forced to make their piece reversible but, this being me, I’ll encourage everyone to do so! The photo-inset shows the “other” side of these sample pieces. (Sorry the photo isn’t that great, even if you click to enlarge it; long story, but I’m still awaiting the return of an essential piece of the photo-setup in my studio and I just can’t get enough light for decent shots at the moment.) I’ve got one of these classes scheduled for June 2 at Zelda’s Bead Kit Company. I’m hoping to offer it a couple times more over the summer and then, if there seems to be enough interest, to offer a lentil-shape version later in the year. Let me know if you’d be interested in taking one somewhere … I’m really looking forward to these!

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A small gap in the copper-saga.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/03/15

I haven’t finished posting my notes on working with copper, but I got sidetracked teaching half a dozen workshops and private lessons.

Those all used silver metal clay. (Ahh, the reliable stuff that I understand!) We made boxes (both lidded and sealed). We wove “flexible greenware” clay into interesting shapes. We made pieces that move via the use of “metal clay” rivets. Of course, I get so involved in the moment, that I don’t think to stop and take many photos. But here’s a small sampling, from three of my workshops this past week.

2/3 of the box-class at Zelda’s, packing up and looking very happy… The rest of the crew at Zelda’s, finished and happily exploring other potential projects
Michelle (who decided to increase the challenge in her own project) adding a hinge between two “woven” components. Sally, refining her little lidded box.

I love working with this stuff, but I also love helping others to create something with it that they can proudly wear–or give away–saying, “I made that myself!”

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