Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Silver Art Clay and Dichroic Pendants

This weekend, I was finally able to take the fabled Silver Art Clay Pendants Clay with Arlene Hildebrand Mornick. She is a wonderful instructor; very knowledgeable, extremely patient and helpful in every way!
I have had all of the pieces from my Dichroic Tile for months, just waiting to learn the fine art of silver clay.
We learned several methods of framing/holding the glass cabochon.
Art Clay Silver is made up of reclaimed silver particles (from items such as circuit boards and photographic negatives) , organic binders and water. After firing, or sintering (bonding metal particles), the leftover piece is 99.9% pure silver.
For our first piece, we used small chips of dichroic glass incorporated into silver clay pieces. We were able to fire these pieces and take them home at the end of the day. I wore the flower piece with a dichroic glass chip to work later that evening!
For the larger pieces of glass that we incorporated into the clay, a longer annealing schedule is required. So, we weren't able to pick these up until the next day.
After firing, the silver has a white coating on it that needs to be removed in order for the silver to really shine through. We used wire brushes to polish the silver before tumbling the pendants in a rock tumbler. The longer the pieces are tumbled, the more they shine.
I think I still want to use Liver of Sulfur on the pieces to add a little depth and make the texture of the silver more noticeable.

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