Craft:

Sil­ver clay is fun to use and, like most clays, it can be eas­ily shaped and pat­terned to suit your style.

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Contents - Craft & Home Ed­i­tor Esme

Have a go at sil­ver clay jew­ellery

1 to pre­vent the acrylic roller, tex­ture mat and cut­ting edge of the cut­ters stick­ing to the clay, first smooth olive oil spar­ingly over them. Wrap the clay in cling­film and knead it for a few sec­onds to soften it, and then place it on a non­stick sur­face with a 2mm-thick strip of card on ei­ther side. Roll the clay, rest­ing the ends of the roller on the card strips, to flat­ten the clay evenly to a thick­ness of 2mm. 2 Re­move the card strips. press the tex­ture mat, or what­ever you are us­ing, firmly on to the clay to make an im­pres­sion, then peel off to re­veal your de­sign.

3 For the pen­dant, press the large heart cut­ter firmly on to the clay. pull away the ex­cess be­fore lift­ing off the cut­ter. Reroll and tex­ture the spare clay and use it to make two small hearts for ear­rings us­ing the 15mm cut­ter. Wrap any clay you don’t need in cling­film straight away, and store in an air­tight con­tainer.

4 use the cock­tail stick to make a small hole at the cen­tre-top of the large heart, for hang­ing. Wig­gle the stick so that it goes right through the clay. Re­peat for the small hearts. the clay will shrink by 8–10% dur­ing fir­ing, so make sure that all the holes are large enough to ac­com­mo­date their fix­ings.

5 Leave the pieces for at least 24 hours – un­til they’re com­pletely dry. han­dle the clay gen­tly, as it will be brit­tle. Gen­tly smooth any rough edges with a sand­ing sponge. neaten the edges of the holes with a nee­dle file. take your time, as im­per­fec­tions will show once the metal is fired. You’ll still be able to sand af­ter fir­ing, but it’s much eas­ier to do it at this stage.

6 To fire the clay, put the large heart on a sheet of stain­less-steel mesh. place the mesh on a gas hob burner and turn on the heat fully. the clay will smoke for a few sec­onds. con­tinue to heat for 10 min­utes, watch­ing it all the time. turn off the heat and leave the heart to cool com­pletely. the clay will be white af­ter fir­ing. Re­peat for the small hearts.

7 Brush the fired metal in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion with a soft brass brush to achieve a sil­ver satin fin­ish. Give the metal a fi­nal rub with a pol­ish­ing cloth to high­light the raised ar­eas.

Quite A Chal­lenge

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