Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Copper Clay Impression Rings

So what do you do if you have spent hours upon hours on a new product that just simply won't cooperate with you?

The only successful torch firings out of 50 pieces.
You send it to one of your awesome more experienced friends who'll figure it out for you.
Being in a network of supportive friends is vital to your success in forward momentum for your work.

I had been working with Hadar Jacobson's copper clay for a several months and had very little luck torch firing the base metal clays.
Instead of risking any more of the copper clay cabs I had created and dried, I sent them to Claire of
Who kindly fired them and scrubbed them for me and then shipped them back to me in a pouch that made them sound like a pirates treasure of coins.
(Thank you, My Wonderful Friend) 
It was exciting to open them and I wished I'd been of sound mind to photograph and share their arrival with you.


Finally, I had my metal cabochons of pure alloys that allowed me to tumble (to work harden them and burnish the surface for patina application), solder them to bases of contrasting sterling, heat them and apply layers of patina, mica powder and lacquer in way that gave a jewel like sparkle to the rustic, warm glow of the metal.

I am more than pleased with the results and I am so glad I am learning how to ask for help.


  1. They are lovely. I have always wanted to try the base clays but everyone says that there is quite the learning curve. Even with a kiln!

  2. I'm so glad you learned to ask for help, too! It's a win-win arrangement and gets the job done in the best way possible. You young gals are so impressive with your beauty, intelligence, and skills and you are now my inspiration for the day! Thank you!!

  3. Hi Shannon - love your blog! Just curious why (and how) you're trying to torch fire Hadar's metal clay. She doesn't recommend that anymore. Here's a link I found on her blog, in the comments. http://artinsilver.com/blog/2009/12/13/torch-firing-hadars-clay%E2%84%A2-quick-fire-copper/

    There is a copper that is torch fire-able - Art Clay Copper. I haven't tried it but it might work better for you for torching...

    1. Hi Kim, thank you for the link. To answer your question, I began experimenting with the base metal clays in 2010, I found Hadar's video and invested in her specific copper clay. I followed her instructions exactly, with both of the torches buried in charcoal and had very little success. I also worked with the art clay copper and half of the charms in the 2nd photo above are in fact art clay copper. Still not happy with what turned out, which is what prompted me to ask a friend for help.

      The rings and resulting patina clasps that came from a kiln firing are so much more fun to talk about! I've decided to shelve my copper and bronze clay ideas for a while and support fellow artists who do make them in durable and gorgeous components.

    2. Ya wanna try some of Hadar's bronze powder? I am so up for it, as it is lower fire than copper. I am going to order some of Hadar's products after this next go-around of supply ordering. Cheaper than silver - the steel looks amazing too....ahh, want too much! Thanks for the lovely mention on your blog, hope you and the kids are putting down some new roots.

    3. Ahh - well best of luck to you if you decide to try it again someday. I love the colors you get with your patina (and other techniques)! Someday I'll figure out the whole color thing :D

  4. Squee! I love these! And I love that you are learning that asking for help can have such miraculous results. So nice to see your pretty smile today!
    Enjoy the day, Miss Shannon!

  5. I'm so happy to see you working in metal clay - I can't wait to see your next round (when next you tackle this).

    PS LOVE the Easter video and your beautiful paper tags!

  6. I LOVE those rings!!!! I am a ring junkie...and they are gorgeous. :)

  7. these rings are really wonderful shannon - and i am glad you reached out to claire... we all need help sometimes, and you certainly are an incredibly open and supportive person to so many people... saving them time and money, providing inspiration... communities work in both directions - and then they thrive...

  8. More awesome work! I love the rings studs. Working with acid would scare me too so I am glad you found an etching alternative! copper still


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