Saturday, 13 March 2010

Inspiration Can Come From the Strangest Sources

I was driving to work on autopilot as usual when my attention was drawn back from my daydream by this lovely stylised whale on the back of a sewage vehicle (see in the unlikely event that you have a hankering for this type of lorry - there's quite a range!). I wanted to incorporate a similar image into a jewellery design so made a lentil bead from silver clay.

The book Metal Clay: The Complete Guide:has a completed example of this type of bead on the cover and describes its project to make one as 'easy'. I had my doubts but the instructions were really clear and straightforward. I deviated from them as I made a whale template by carving and baking Fimo clay and used a commercial produced spotty template sheet for the other side of the bead. I also made a fancy hanger for the pendant by threading a figure of eight shaped silver wire through a tube shaped and round silver beads and then reshaping the loops

I'm pleased with the 2 in 1 nature of the pendant with its different designs on each side and this is an idea that I may use again. The results are a little rustic for my taste but I was reasonably proud of my first attempt at producing a 3D structure in silver clay. It gave me a realisation that my cheap old pastry cutters weren't accurate enough to make light work of matching the two sides of the bead. So afterwards, I treated myself to the Ateco Round Cutter Setwhich are much better at retaining their 'circley' shape.

I've tried a similar experiment with Fimo but this wasn't a great success - more donut than lentil. I might have had more luck if I'd used a supporting filling for the bead which gives me yet another thing to try in the future.

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