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I'm busy in the studio, trying new things and venturing out of my norm. For my newest project, I decided to try a new form of metal clay called Art Clay. Art clay is very similar to the other metal clays I use, but only takes 30 minutes to fire versus the typical several hour time frame. Art clay is going to be a great material to use in future Craft on Tap classes, because of the quick fire time.
I recommend reading my previous post, Metal Clay, to get a full run down of how I work with metal clay, the tools I use, and the kiln firing process. Working with Art Clay is similar in that in comes in clay form, I can roll it out, cut any design or shape I want, and after firing, it will become a hard metal clay.
Here I am shaping the art clay for my earring designs.
Now that the pieces are shaped, texture has been added, and the corners smoothed, they are ready to fire in my metal clay kiln. For art clay, there are a few extra steps in the kiln firing process. Before putting in the kiln I need to lay them on what is called Fiber Blanket, and when the pieces are removed from the kiln, I need to stick them in a cool water bath. Both steps help in removing the oxidized surface that happens to art clay in the firing process.
This is what the art clay looks like before the kiln firing:
This is what they look like after the kiln firing process:
As you can see, a dark outer shell occurs, and you have to dip the pieces in water in order for the outer shell to break away.
Once I've cleaned all of the outer shell off of each piece, I use liver of sulfur to darken the metal clay for a more signature, rustic LPDstudios look.
Next, I wanted to add a little something to each of my metal clay earrings, so I cut companion leather pieces that will layer onto the metal clay using hoop rings.
I added a little color to the leather using acrylic paint.
And here are the final Metal Clay and Leather Earrings!! Which ones are your favorite?
Stay tuned for more adventures in the studio!
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