Thursday, January 2, 2014

BronzClay Owl Necklaces

I'm a little bit owl obsessed, and so is my daughter and all of her cousins.  So I decided to design a little owl necklace for them for Christmas.  I knew I wanted something that I could reproduce easily, so I wanted to try a polymer clay sculpture and mold it with Cold Mold.  I started with the big guy on the left, but he took 15 grams of BronzClay, which put me a bit over budget (I had to make 12 of these!).  So I sculpted a smaller one;  you can see it in the picture below to the right.  Cute, right?

I wanted to try some stones out, so I added some bronze embeddable prong settings in 2 mm, and some 1.6 mm embeddable eyelets .  I'll explain later why I may never use 2 mm settings again.  Below are the dried clay owls, I laid them out on my ceramic fiber blanket to make sure they finished drying.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

Here they are fresh out of the kiln.  I used coconut carbon this time instead of the coal-based.  I read somewhere that the coconut carbon fires cleaner and my batches of BronzClay with the coal-based carbon were very dirty.  Some of these have a lovely dark patina that I just love.  They are the ones that were on the bottom layer of two layers, and I think they were closer to the back.  The fingerprints came out sort of two-toned after the firing.  

I cleaned this batch up with a wire brush before I patinated them so they would absorb more dark color.  Here they are after a dip in liver of sulphur (which STINKS!).

Nice and dark after the LOS treatment.  Dirty birdies.

Below are the different stages of finishing.  The first is the LOS treatment, the second is after a good brushing with a brass wire brush, and the third have been given a nice polish with polishing cloth.  

Here's the texture on the back all polished up.  This is the Flower Quilt rollable texture tile from Cool Tools.  I got 12 texture sheets from them and it was some of the best money I spent so far for, and the Flower Quilt texture is my favorite so far.   

Here are a couple of owls polished up and ready for stones.  

And five of them with stones set (which took forever!)  I actually broke a prong off one of these guys.  The problem is that the stone is too small to keep level, and I had to keep going back and replacing the stone into the setting, and it was just way to hard to put in for the effect.  Not that the stones aren't cute.  And I love that each girl got an owl with her birthstone on it.  It was just too difficult and too many bad words were said.  I wish I had used my 3 mm settings instead.  I will probably never order this size again.

And this is the finished product....a little birdie with a sparkling stone on his belly.  Had to add a key and matching pearl too.

What do you think?  

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