Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building an Art Brooch with Jewelry Clay - Part Two

 This is my finished art brooch!  
I know, I know, it is over the top and over-embellished.  
That is how I like my jewelry!  
One of a kind, strange and unique.
 In yesterday's post I explained how I got the brooch to this point.
 The back of my brooch had a few rough spots.  I used a vintage 60's brass component and it had a rough edge.
 So I gathered virtually the same supplies.
Jewelry Clay, gold Pearl-Ex and a jewelry component known as a bail.
 I smoothed the rough edges of the back by adding some Jewelry Clay.  I also pressed my bail into the clay so it would be permanently attached.  The bail will give me the option to either wear this as a brooch (attached to a pin bar) or as a pendant (added to a necklace.)
 I brushed gold powder onto any visible clay and let it cure overnight.
 The next day I brushed away the excess powder and I now have a much nicer/cleaner back side.  The metal won't catch on fabric.
My favorite part of the project was selecting my dangles.  The miniature glass vial charm containing a real rose I showed you how to make two weeks ago.  The stamped clay cameo I showed last week.
Somehow all my colours lined up perfectly.

I now have the long weekend to decide how I want to wear this.  I'll post my results on Monday!

Here is the link to Part One of this series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Building an Art Brooch with Jewelry Clay - Part One

 This is a three part special blog series that shares with you some of the ways Jewelry Clay has changed the way I create wearable art.  The picture above shows you a group of items on my table that I feel might work together.  The question is how.  
How can I join everything and still make it feel and look as though it has been soldered by a jeweler?
 A few weeks ago I showed you how I made a mold of this doll half shape.  I love my resin duplicates from this new mold.
 Originally I had silver accents on the molded doll but after seeing it placed on the vintage brass component, I decided to add gold metallic wax instead.  I can change colours dozens of time during this stage of the planning.
 I started to narrow my selection of items that needed to be attached.
You can see here that I used Jewelry Clay in strategic locations and at various heights to attach my selected embellishments.
Anywhere I used Jewelry Clay I now cover with gold Pearl Ex.  The clay is not really going to be seen, but if you were to see this piece from a side angle, the white clay would be visible.  I will leave all of this to cure over night now.
Tomorrow I will show you what I do next!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vintage Postcard and Resin With Another Designer Tip

 This tiny bezel is a wish for spring.  
The tiny chick is part of an original Easter message.
 This is the old postcard I used.  I found it some time ago and felt like I could do something special with it even though it was very yellowed and worn.
 It was the perfect one inch circle.  I punched it out and the image itself now looked a lot nicer against a white back ground.
 I did only one thing to embellish it.
Here is my tip!
Glitter markers can add these most fabulous extra interest to anything.  I highlighted the chick and flowers and was very happy with the result.
 When my glitter markings were dry I ran the one inch circle through the Xyron sticker maker.  That made it easy to place my paper circle into my bezel securely.

That little bit of glitter made everything pop.  I tend to over embellish and use a lot of inclusions.  This little project reminds me that simple can be very elegant.
My last step was to pour in my batch of Jewelry Resin.  I hope you like the finished bezel as much as I do.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Resin - And Another Great Tip!

 These sweet bunnies with their matching carrots are another example of what you can create with a greeting card.
 This project uses this greeting card, a group of silver bezels, a one inch hole punch and a Xyron sticker maker.
 Once I punch out my one inch circles I run them through the sticker maker.
 This way I know my paper imagery is firmly affixed in my bezel.
 I always seal my paper with three different applications of a decoupage glue.  You can see here that I paint on the medium and then allow it to thoroughly dry before painting on another layer.  Sealing paper imagery is something I do at least 24 hours before I pour resin over paper.  You want to be absolutely sure that your glue is 100% dry.
Now I make a batch of Jewelry Resin.
This is where my GREAT TIP comes in!
When you work in a very shallow bezel like the ones I chose for this project, the possibility of an over-pour is high.  (You know, resin pools out of your bezel and you can't stop it.)
So here is what I do.
I make my resin and let it sit in the cup until it thickens up.  This could take 25 minutes sometimes longer.  I check it with a popsicle stick and when it is very thick I pour it.
See, the resin is in the bezel and not running over the shallow edges.  My finished peices are gorgeous and clear and I didn't have to cut away excess resin.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Small Sanding Tip

 This is a very small cabochon setting bezel that is showcasing a tiny Jewelry Clay embellishment.
 There have been quite a few new people finding this blog.  Welcome!  There are over 100 Jewelry Clay projects already posted here for you to review and learn techniques from. 
 I wanted to share a super tip with my regular readers today.
You know how occasionally you make a little bit more clay than you needed?
I never throw it away.  I always have something that needs to be repaired or attached and occasionally I have a rubber stamp I want to test.
This little oval of clay I rubber stamped into.
Then I added three crystals.
Finally I brushed pink Pear-Ex over the surface of the clay to colour it.
My simple clay oval almost fit into the cabochon perfectly. 
 It was a millimetre or two too big, so guess how I sanded it?  
With this dollar store nail filer!  It is battery powered and works like a charm!
This tiny project is going to be a part of a much bigger project I am sharing with you next week!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tips for Working In Unknown Mold Types

 I have some blue Mickey resin pieces to show you that I made in a purchased ice cube mold.

In case you did not know, you can't pour resin into all molds.  

I have had resin craftastrophies pouring resin into ice cube molds.  
Sometimes it works, sometimes it bonds and becomes one big piece of plastic.  
Or the poured resin is virtually impossible to peel out of the mold.  Soap molds I do not even attempt using anymore and yet I see people pouring resin into plastic trays successfully.  
When I use molds I make myself with Easymold silicone putty or Easymold silicone rubber I can guarantee success.  

So now I have a new studio law.
When I use any purchased molds I take the time to do a test.

 I drip a nice blob of Envirotex Lite on the back side of my mold and let it cure overnight.
 If I can peel the cured resin away the next day I know I have a mold I can work in.  If I can't peel the resin away, I still have an ice cube mold, since my water will not touch the resin I applied.
 I also like to do a test run with the mold itself.  In this case I had leftover blue coloured resin which I poured into all the Mickey cavities.
I can see that I had a little air bubble at almost the same spot on all my duplicates.  
I can sand this away, but I know the next time I use the mold that I should perhaps run a toothpick along this area of the mold to release any trapped bubbles.

I hope some of these tips help you to have successful resin in molds projects.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Miniature Glass Charms

 I hope these tiny samples allow you to think about the many different ways Jewelry Clay can be used.
 My project features tiny glass vials, screw eyes, Pearl-Ex Powder and Jewelry Clay.
 I had filled these tiny glass vials with miniature people, dried flowers and Envirotex Lite resin earlier in the week.  The resin is holding all my embellishments in place permanently.
 I wanted my vials to become charms.  
To do that I placed a small amount of Jewelry Clay onto each vial opening, coloured it with Pearl-Ex gold powder and then pressed a screw eye into it.
I let my glass vials cure overnight and now I have the most fantastic wearable charms!