The piece I have been working on lately has been as unruly as a belligerent teenager. I've tried to make it be something it didn't want to be. "I don't want to and you can't make me!"
As mentioned in my post, "Back to Backs" on Oct. 4th I designed a pendant to display a very nice Mookite Jasper stone that I bought at the Rock Shop in Gatlinburg. That post discusses the problems I've encountered so far with this piece. The second piece was not working out well either (since it was basically the same size as the first one.) I kept trying to make it work. Then I decided to do what I knew I had to do....... start over.
Today was that day ..... and the third try had better work like a charm. The piece is still not totally finished but it is getting close (although I do expect to do some repair work as I applied wet clay around a hard surface and it will probably crack.)
Not only did I start over, but the design changed dramatically. I had been designing it with the point up....... today I flipped it. (Which means my seam, which I'm not good at yet is now at the top and more visible.) Also, one of the three bails slipped out of place a little during the firing process.
I placed a design on the back of all three of the pendants. The first two are similar and the third piece has the addition of three CZ's across the top. I'm not sure they really relate to the design on the front but they look pretty.
I am using a two step firing process for this piece. The bezel is made and the seam is finished with metal clay oil paste (paste to which lavender oil has been added.) The base piece is created and fired; then the bezel is attached to the base with oil paste and fired again. Even though I've done it before, I've been having problems getting the bezel attached to the base piece. Today I tried one of Jeanette Landenwitch's suggestions in her book Setting Stones in Metal Clay. She suggested scratching a groove into the base that the bezel can sit in before using the oil paste. I did that, but I'm not sure it's going to work. (Oh thee of little faith!) Anyway, the entire piece is sitting on my work bench air drying. I added a line of syringe clay around the outside of the bezel (where I could) and this is what I suspect will give me problems. If it does, it will require some repair and then back into the kiln.
Here's a few pictures of the "new" piece, but remember it's not finished. It's been fired once (that's why it looks white.) If the second firing goes well, then all that is left (besides polishing it up) is to set the stone in the bezel. ( I pray I do that right...... I've been in one of those stretches where everything I touch falls apart!)
Unfinished front of the piece. Everything is just sitting there right now
The back of the piece, again unfinished. Fresh out of the kiln