Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Roll With It...

The other night, I had pressed out some coin pendants in what I thought was a leftover package of CopprClay.  As it turns out, it was half a pack of Fast Fire BronzClay.  When I dug through the carbon, the results were a little discouraging.  Sometimes when you have a picture in your mind of how they should be, anything less is a disappointment.

Even though they were crusty and had lots of porosity, surprisingly, they were fully sintered.  A few of them had blistered from the high heat, but most of them were solid.

The high heat had distorted the images and made them nearly unrecognizable.  The details were lost.  Since the designs couldn't be salvaged, I decided to try and save what I could of the raw material.

I cleaned them up and hammered out the coins.  Hammering them helped to further remove any elements of the design that remained, but weren't very clear.  It also acted as a vetting process, just in case any of the pieces weren't "fully cooked" in the center.  Another added bonus was that I was work-hardening the pieces as I went, giving the pieces added strength.

Once I hammered them out, I tumbled them with steel shot.  I let the tumbler run over night.  When I pulled them out of the barrel, they were too shiny, so I passed them through a MAP gas flame a little to give them a little bit of color.

I had posted my findings on Facebook and a few friends suggested that I pair the coins with Roman glass.  I just so happened to have a couple of strands and decided to give a try.  I drilled holes in this piece and wired on the iridescent glass.  Having them stacked (with a metal border) adds a little security to the fragile pieces of ancient glass.  I love the look of Roman glass, but am always so worried that it'll break or chip.  So, when I planned out this design, I made sure that the glass was used decoratively and not structurally.  

I like the end result.  It looks like a talisman made up of an ancient coin and a shard from a lost civilization.  It has a very rustic, unearthed vibe.   

I was playing around with some of the pieces and thought that I would try stamping them with metal stamps from ImpressArt.  I used the Bridgette font and stamped the word, "love" with a little heart design.  I used the ball peen end of the hammer to give the pendant a little extra bit of that dimpled, hammered texture.  It's sweet and dainty.  I paired it with a strand of tiny garnet rounds, strung up on Red Coral colored flexible beading wire from Soft Flex Company.  The beading wire adds a tiny pop of color in-between beads and it deepens the ruby-red of the translucent garnets.

Sometimes things don't work out the way you plan, but if you roll with it, something new and surprising can emerge and it's wonderful!  Sometimes the happy little accidents are just as satisfying and rewarding as meticulously planned and executed pieces.

1 comment:

Sherri Stokey said...

Nice save, Andrew! I adore the Roman glass pendant.