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Ruby Love

by: Jennifer Tough

I have something a little different for you this week. Not a traditional buy all the parts and make it type of inspiration. This week, I feature a lovely handmade metal clay heart. If you want to make this one, you'll need to clean off that work table and make it up yourself.

Working with metal clay is most certainly not difficult. The stuff is expensive, so taking a class is almost always the best option. However, there are a lot of really good books on the market, as well as a ton of video's that you can find online. Google is your friend!

This heart was made with a heart template, and cut out with an exacto knife. The texture was made with various weeds from my garden...the weeds are somehow always much more interesting...That's why I keep them. Yes, I'm sticking to that story!  When texturing with botanicals, I always place down the 'weeds' directly on the clay, and then very gently roll over the whole thing with my clay roller. Try not to press to hard, as it can then be difficult to remove the object. Worse case scenario, you could just fire the weed, and it would burn away. I prefer not to.

This heart isn't overly large, and could easily be torch fired.  Handy, for those of you just starting out! I've also given this a matte brushed finish, which can be accomplished with just using a simple brass, or stainless steel brush. 

I'll give you my 'personal' opinion on torch firing. While I much prefer to kiln fire, and I personally kiln fire everything I make. Some items can be safely torch fired. General rule of thumb - keep it small, keep it simple, and don't torch fire rings. Rings really take a lot of abuse, and need the added strength that a proper kiln fire will give you.
Simple pendants with no joins, and small earrings are just fine fired with a torch.

Fine silver is quite soft taken right out of the kiln, or torch fired. If you do not have access to a tumbler, you can work harden it with a hammer and a stainless steel block. 

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Are you just getting started? if you're not sure of exactly what you need to start out, I've posted some of my favourite items below.

Clicking on components links will open a new window so that you don't lose this page.
acsst-01 Art Clay Silver Supplies - Starter Kit - (1)Price: $ 155.98
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is unavailable.
0-87349-557-8 Book - Art Clay Silver and Gold - by Jackie TrutyPrice: $ 29.99
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is unavailable.
acsbookbasic Book - Art Clay Silver Book - Art Clay Silver BasicsPrice: $ 26.00
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is unavailable.
acsf-125 Tools - Graduated Slat Sets (Set)

(I love these slat sets!)

Price: $ 38.61
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