Tag Archives: brooch

Creating with Antique Molds by Karen Trexler

While Cool Tools Antique Molds are great for making satisfying charms and pendants by firing exactly what you pull from the molds, they also offer opportunity to create unique pieces by manipulating the clay once it has been removed from the mold. I made both pieces by beginning with the Wild Child Antique Mold with EZ960® Sterling Silver Clay. In both pieces I thought it would be nice to remove the background, and cut away the silver clay in the background with my Ultra Clay Pick while the clay was still soft.

For the piece pictured on the right, I also pressed clay into the Sunshine and Lace Antique Mold and decided I wanted to work with mostly the ends. I gently placed the Wild Child piece on top of the Sunshine and Lace piece and scribed a line to follow and cut away the middle so the pieces from The Sunshine and Lace Piece will line up perfectly with the edges of the Wild Child piece. Once I cut away the excess from the Sunshine and Lace piece, I gently dampened the edges that met with a small amount of distilled water on a brush before adding just a touch of EZ960 Sterling Silver Paste from a syringe to the edge and pressing them together. I used the brush to run over the seam to smooth it out before allowing the piece to dry and refining the edges of the piece as a whole by sanding it while it was in its greenware stage. I fired the clay piece before soldering a pin back to the back so it may be worn as a brooch.

I created the piece on the left in a similar way, only I was only working with only the Wild Child Antique Mold. I pressed clay into just the flower portion of the mold (located in her hair) and made small flowers that I attached to the main piece with paste. Once I was happy with my design, I allowed the piece to dry before cleaning it up, firing it, and soldering on a pin back as I did in the first piece.

I hope this inspires you to put your own spin on an Antique Mold, the possibilities are endless with so many to choose from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Tools Antique Molds are made from 100% silicone mold material that does not stick to metal clay, or any other type of clay, so no release is needed. Molds are reusable and can be placed on a heat source to dry clay. Safe to 500°F. Use molds to create a pendant, earrings or a focal point on a cuff.

Cupid’s Bow and Arrow Brooch by Annie Kilborn

Back of Brooch with the sample “trial and error” piece I made out of brass.

What is Valentines Day without Cupid and his bow and arrow? ( See below for materials and tools used)

I began this project with a quick simple sketch to work out the ideal size and shape of “Cupid’s Bow and Arrow” Brooch. I knew that getting the bends in the sterling silver patterned wire “Dotted” would be a little tricky, because the bends would need to occur where the wire was the thickest. Before I attempted to bend the sterling wire, I made a sample in brass, a cheaper material for trial and error.

 

I marked the center, and where I wanted the two main bends to be on the wire. I used a 4mm jump ring maker mandrel in a vise to bend the metal. I bent the two outer bends in the bow to create a U shape with the wire. The metal needed to be annealed a couple times to get the desired bends. I did not initially worry about the bend in the middle, because I removed material with a saw making it much easier to bend after the two main bends were in the wire. I then repeated the process in the silver wire. Then I removed material to create a slight tapper on both ends leaving just the dot on the ends. I also added a tapper toward the middle bend. Once I got the desired shape for the bow, I filed, sanded and polished the tappers and smoothed out the bends. I soldered the pin henge and catch to the back of the bow with hard solder.

Next, I started constructing the arrow by taking 18 gauge sterling silver wire and making 10 pieces that were approximately 3/4” long with a 90° bend in the middle to make the fletching. I lined the pieces up so that they fit snuggly together. I cut the tubing to a 3” length, and removed part of the tubing on a 1/2” area at the end of the tubing exposing the inside. Then I flowed hard solder in the exposed inside of the tubing and pickled it. After pickling, I placed it on top of the 18 gauge wire pieces, and reflowed the solder to attach the pieces. Next, I soldered the other end of the arrow to the middle of the bow leaving enough space to solder the stone setting to the end of the tubing. Next, I soldered on the stone setting completing the arrow.

I took 7” of the the sterling silver patterned wire “Rope #2”, bent it in the middle, and soldered it to the back of the fletching with medium solder. After it was soldered, I took the ends of the “Rope #2” wire and wrapped them around the ends of the bow so that the wire nested into the niches that were made around the dot. I wrapped the wire around itself to create a tide rope effect, cutting of the excess wire so that the end is in the back of the piece. I took the remaining 5” of the rope wire, placed the middle of it behind the bow where the arrow attached, and wrapped it around the bow.

I did all my final sanding and polishing then raised the fine silver. The last few details were setting the cubic zirconia, and put the pin stem on. I put a bend in the pin stem so that it hid behind the bow. I finished of the piece by brass brushing it to create a soft finish on the silver.

MATERIALS USED: 

CUBIC ZIRCONIA – FIRE OPAL – TRIANGLE 10mm

STERLING SILVER 10MM ROUND SNAP-SET – 6 PRONG SETTING – SET/2

STERLING SILVER TUBE – .089″ OD, .009″ WALL

PATTERNED WIRE – STERLING SILVER – DOTTED 12 GAUGE DEAD SOFT – 6″

PATTERNED WIRE – STERLING SILVER ROPE #2 – 16 GAUGE DEAD SOFT – 6” (x2)

WIRE- STERLING SILVER – 18 GAUGE HALF HARD – 1 FOOT

STERLING SILVER PIN FINDING – 2”

TOOLS:

KNEW CONCEPT HAND SAW WITH CAM-LEVER TENSION AND SWIVEL BLADE CLAMPS – 5”

HALF ROUND RING FILE WITH WOOD HANDLE – CUT 4

HAMMER – NYLON

FRETZ PLANISHING HAMMER

ECONOMY TABLETOP SWIVEL VISE

JUMP RING MAKER – SMALL 4MM – 8MM

PLIERS – LINDSTROM EX SERIES – SIDE CUTTER

PLIERS – LINDSTROM EX SERIES – FLAT NOSE

PLIERS – FLAT NOSE

FOREDOM® SR-2220 FLEXIBLE SHAFT KIT – #20 QUICK CHANGE HANDPIECE

SANDING DISCS – ADALOX SNAP ON – 7/8″ MEDIUM

MINIATURE MANDREL – SNAP ON 3/32″ SHANK

SILICONE POLISHER – BLACK BARREL SET – SET OF 4

SMITH® SILVERSMITH™ ACETYLENE AND AIR TORCH KIT WITHOUT TANK 

360° ROTATING SOLDERING PAN WITH PUMICE – 12″ DIAMETER

SOLDERING BLOCK – MAGNESIA

HANDY FLUX 8 OZ

CAMEL HAIR ECONOMY BRUSH – SIZE 3

SILVER SOLDER WIRE- HARD & MEDIUM

Artist Project Series: Penannular Brooch by Julia Rai

 

Our ninth artist for the Artist Project Series with Creative Fire using EZ960® Sterling Silver Metal Clay is Julia Rai, an award winning artist, teacher and writer. She is well known in the international metal clay community.

Julia explains, “Penannular style brooches have been used to fasten clothing since the late Iron Age. This style of brooch has a loop of metal with terminals or flattened ends and a moveable pin. The pin is pushed through the fabric and the end of the ring goes under the sharp end of the pin. The ring is then turned locking the pin in place. There are a wide variety of designs for the terminals of historical penannular brooches and this is where the fun comes in on this modern take on an ancient design. I have used a natural theme for the hoop, texturing it to resemble bark. The terminals use pod, fungi and lichen forms and this is echoed on the curve of the pin.”

 

Follow along and learn Julia’s process step by step for making this beautiful piece as well as more about Julia Rai here.