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