The Joy of Metal Clay – Easy Leaf Earing Idea

Last week when I was working with my copper clay making milkweed leaves a simple earring was born. I want to share this design with you.

First get a pair of copper head pins and hammer the pin flat (alternatively, use copper wire and curl the end and flatten it, the end of the wires will be hidden between two layers of clay so they don’t need to be pretty).Roll out your clay, you want to create two 1 mm or 1.25 mm layers.
Place the flattened headpin on one layer (see below).
Position the pin where you want your ear wire as this will become your earwire (if you are using Art Clay Copper then consider using a thicker wire as in firing this type of copper you may loose some of the wire’s thickness).
Moisten the clay (with Copprclay I find all I need to do is moisten the clay, if you are using Art Clay Copper use paste as it needs more help sticking – also if you are using Art Clay Copper use a thicker wire as in firing you will loose some thickness).

Lay down a second layer of clay (another 1 mm or 1.25 mm), place leaf on top lining it up with the earwire and roll between two purple or 2 mm slats.

Trim around the leaf using a craft knife or pin tool, then gently peel off the leaf for your second earring or use a new leaf if you wish. Then allow to dry and fire according to the clay you are using.

Fire, brush with a brass brush (careful with the wires) work harden the wires and polish.

Unfortunately the firing of my Copprclay was an “Epic Fail” (to coin the latest phrase that my two boys have been using). Arrggh! I have good luck and bad luck with CopprClay, not sure what went wrong in this case. I will try again and refire it when I have some new carbon. I love the texture of the Copprclay but its reliability is not there for me, PHOOEY.

Above is a photo of the failure. Metal clay doesn’t fire properly it has a “feel” to it. It may sound like metal and can even be burnished but it won’t hold up. The photo shows one example, the copper came out with a dark colour and as you can see it is brittle. Sometimes refiring it will work. I will let you know what happens with these pieces.

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