Our first project at the Rebel Heartistry Retreat was to make a hollow form. We could make a ring or a pendant and since I love, love, love rings....... guess what I made?
This was not my first time at making a hollow form but it was my first time making it out of sterling silver with traditional metal smithing tools. Besides the fact that I don't use a jeweler's saw when working with metal clay (although I have in certain instances) there is one major difference that I noticed.
The fine silver clay is more porous than the sterling sheet.
(I wonder if that is true of sterling silver clay?) Because it is, the hollow form does not have to have any holes to let the gases and fluids escape. We had to drill holes in the inner band for that purpose.
"Aquarius" was made by covering a rock with metal clay, cutting it in half when dry and pasting the halves back together. Embellishment was added on after the hollow form dried. As with lots of my jewelry, this piece told me what it wanted to be when I accidentally broke off a corner (which became the spout with a crystal drop.)
I wanted to show the construction method we used in construction of the ring, but for some reason I can't download it. (Not sure why.) But this is the basic form of my ring (embellishes will come later.) We constructed the inner band and soldered it onto sheet metal. Then the outer band was soldered on and the center and outside were sawed out. (Sawing really wasn't that bad.) The last step was to solder on the other side onto the rings and saw that side out too. I was afraid of getting too close to my bands so I had some major filing to do. (That is not fun.)
Of course the metal clay piece is constructed with the use of metal clay paste while the sterling silver is constructed with solder. The finished metal clay piece can also be soldered. It takes a little more solder since it is a porous material and sucks the solder in.
This metal clay necklace was formed somewhat like the ring but was constructed with paste rather than soldering
Soldering makes me nervous but I can do it. I need to do it more often so I feel more comfortable with it. I tend not to do it as the paste works great and is less stressful. But, it's all relevant. I will start to solder on my bezels now, rather than using the paste.
The last piece is metal clay and the bezel was added with metal clay paste. I guess it's good to be able to do both processes, depending on the situation. Which ever I use, I now have a soldering set up and bought myself some easy, medium and hard solder.