We hope the tutorial will serve to inspire you to create! No matter if you just get out your sketch book and draw a similar project based on these challenges. It’s a place to start. It’s a way to start off your day in the right frame of mind with a creative exercise!
Vickie says “Carving blocks make an easy way to create an original texture for a long continuous scene panel bracelet. The borders around each of the panels were intended to hold in resin or enamel, which I didn’t do because of time constraints. This many hinges at once is a good learning experience — the later ones were much more precise that the earlier ones!”
If you are interested in the full step-by-step tutorial please stay tuned. It will be available at Whole Lotta Whimsy. They will be in a handy bench format too! This tutorial looks like it will be over 50 pictures with tons of detail in this #41 Tutorial!
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to carve a texture block
- How to use an extruder for tubing and coils
- How to constructe hinges
- How to use a torch to bead wire
- How to fuse Argentium silver components
- How to construct a hinge pin clasp
- How to heat harden Argentium sterling
Stack the panels as they would be attached on the panel (edge to edge accordian style) and sand with a sanding board. This way each panel will be the same size. Hold tightly as you keep them together and sand each edge. Round the corners of each edge.
Using the Makins Professional Stainless Steel Extruder, extrude four lengths of clay.
Using the Clay Shaper and silver metal clay, mend and fill the gap at the seam when it dries.
Dry, sand and refine the seam and the back panel using sand paper.
Vickie shares lots of tips and techniques to make the above steps stress-free and efficient in the full tutorial available in 2011.
Using Makins Professional Extruder with the Hollow Adaptor and Small Round Circle Die, extrude two lengths of tubing.
Make sure the tubing dries without warping. If they dry warped, you can remoisten and gently straighten.
Using a Tube Cutting Jig, insert the tissue blade into the guide and with slow pressure cut the tubing.
(Vickie has lots of tips for making sure it cuts cleanly and is measured perfectly in the full tutorial)
Next cut the tubing into knuckles.
Enlarge the center hole of the tubing, to accomodate the wire cold connection. Remember the clay will shrink during firing and so it’s easier to do this prior to firing.
Sand each end perfectly flat using the tube cutting jig as a square.
Using a piece of wire, thread on the knuckles and align them with the panels face down on teflon. Using water attach the knuckles to the panels. Add fresh silver metal clay or paste and sculpt with a clay shaper.
Dry. Remove the placement wire (hinge wire) and refine the seams. Dry again and sand.
Make sure the panels rotate freely with no binding. Repeat until all the hinges are complete.
Roll out a small amount of clay and using a small circle cutter, cut a disc. Then using yet a smaller circle cutter, cut out an inner hole. Dry.
Using a tissue blade cut off one side of the ring to make a flat area to attach to the panel. Sand and perfect.
Using water attach to the top of the last panel. The chain will be attached to this, which will be attached to the pin for the clasp.
(In her full tutorial, Vickie shares tips on fixing/repairing any warping with the knuckles or the holes.)
Polish and prepare to cold connect the hinges.
Set up the panels on a fire proof surface. Using a dual fuel torch, adjust the flame to a tight cone. Proceed to ball up the other end of the wire snug up against the hinge.
Insert the wire pin catch into the knuckles and trim excess.
Using a hammer chase the end so it is a snug fit into the bottom knuckles for a friction fit.
(Again, this is detailed step-by-step in Vickie’s full tutorial)
Attach the chain to the top circle attachment on the last panel.
This bracelet is another great way to approach hinges and connections! I can’t wait to try the Argentium next time I decide to make a friction fit clasp too. Plus the idea of carving out the texture panels for this, sounds like a lot of fun! If you haven’t tried carving it is challenging.
Each of these Master Muse class tutorials exposes new techniques to even the most seasoned of instructors and makers. I’m always surprised at how differently each artist approaches a challenge and how their skills allow them to execute a creative result. I learn at least one valuable shortcut or new technique in each tutorial.
These are affordable classes that you can take in your studio, at your pace, with all the details and more that you would get in a live class. Not to mention that they are scrupulously edited and if the details aren’t there, I ask for more info and pictures.
We’d love to see you take the challenge and make this or a similar piece as well. Can’t wait to see your pieces. Send them and we’ll post pictures in a future Challenge Gallery. Challenge yourself!
Don’t forget to leave a comment. We are giving away a 1/2″ Faux Bone Ring Blank along WITH a Faux Bone Peeler from Robert Dancik this month, a $40+ value! Try your hand at making a Faux Bone ring from our third round of challenges by the Master Muses.
How to win? Leave a comment on every blog (even older posts) or get two entries for tweeting, putting it on Facebook, the Metal Clay Yahoo Gallery forum, your blog etc. Just send us a copy of the link to firstname.lastname@example.org! Let your friends know how to make their Wednesday’s rock…. with of course, the Master Muse Tutorial launch! Your odds of winning are pretty darn good so leave a message or comment.
Bridging many medias, Vickie Hallmark pursues her artistic muses in whichever direction calls: metal, glass or fiber. This cross-pollination of different ideas, coupled with her experimental nature as a research scientist, leads Hallmark to combine materials in novel ways. Metal over glass is a particular fascination, be it electroformed copper over lamp worked beads or silver clay formed around enameled-painted tiles.Over the last decade, Hallmark’s work has been exhibited in prestigious juried fine craft shows, including Craft Forms, Crafts National, and Materials: Hard & Soft. Chosen as a Glasscraft Emerging Artist in 2007, images of her beads have appeared in The Flow, The Glass Bead, and Bead Release 3, an annual compendium of the year’s best beads. Metal Clay Artist and Metal Clay Today have showcased her metal clay jewelry. The best of Hallmark’s creations are preserved in both private and museum collections.
Check out Vickie’s work at www.VickieHallmark.com. You can purchase her work online! Contact her for more details.
Photo credit: final piece Drew Davidson; step-by-step Vickie Hallmark