Wednesday, 21 March 2012
This week we've been making tube settings. We've used 5mm cubic zirconia's because they are very hard for a first setting and minimises the chance of breaking the stone. The tubing is 6mm outer diameter and 4.6mm inner diameter with a 0.7mm wall. Susan set this setting onto a ring shank. We then used a 5mm ball burr and the pendant motor to burr down into the tubing, polished and set the stone using the rub over technique...a voila!!
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Hands up if you've ever put your cabochon into its bezel setting then struggled to get it back out. I know quite a few of you that have. Well...there's a couple of ways to deal with this problem:
- Make sure you put a hole in the back before you put the stone in...then you can push it out. You can then fill the hole with solder before you finish and set the stone or cover it with other components of your piece.
- Use dental flos! Place it into the setting before you put the stone in then you can just pull the stone straight back out...what a clever idea.
Kath using dental flos with her beautiful agate stone
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Silver Plated & Enamel Coated Wire with Glass Beads
Yesterday I travelled to Wotton Under Edge to demonstrate how to work with PMC to a craft group. The drive was pretty long but beautiful through the cotswolds...although the weather was misty and foggy so I couldn't actually see much! The demonstration went well and the ladies all enjoyed themselves. They asked lots of questions and were very enthusiastic so it was well worth the drive.
This week I have been working on a new Newsletter that will be sent out monthly to my mailing list. I very excited about it. The idea is to keep customers informed and up to date on workshops, products, events and promotions. If your not already on our mailing list you can sign up at www.amysurman.com.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Creative Copper Clay
I have just had such a good day working with and teaching Copper Clay to five people. I feel it was really the first time I have got to grips with and appreciated the difference between Precious Metal Clay and Copper Clay. I am very happy the the processes and techniques we used today but the only thing I would change are my timings. We had a very rushed finish again...I need to be more stern about getting pieces into the kiln on time. Copper clay needs more finishing time than PMC. After it comes out of the kiln take at least 2 hours - therefore everything needs to be firing by 2.30. Anyhow...that's my issue not yours!
So, as promised, here's my tips and tricks for firing Copper Clay:
- Make sure your pieces are completely dry before firing. This make take up to three times longer than PMC. Its difficult to tell you how long because it depends on the size of piece your working on.
- If torch firing use a fine flame torch. This torch has a bigger more powerful flame than a micro or kitchen torch.
- Heat until your piece glows a soft orange glow than begin timing for 7 minutes.
- If Kiln firing preheat your kiln to 920c, place your pieces in the kiln in a kiln blanket and fire for 30 mins.
- Once fired place immediately into Picklean (pickle solution) this will begin removing the fire scale. Leave to pickle for 10 mins.
- Remove from Picklean and brush with a brass brush.
- Barrel in Picklean for 30 mins, change the solution and repeat.
- Finally barrel polish in barrel bright then finish with an agate burnisher.
I told you the finishing off process was pretty long...well worth the effort though!! Have a look at our Facebook page to see todays results. We could have achieved a much better finish with an extra hour but that's always the way with workshops.