As I promised, here is the first project. But first, a message to our customers in and around the UK: Craftworx is now stocking the full line of Hadar’s Clay and will have the new book as soon as it’s available in early October.
Now on to our regularly scheduled program!
The project is made from Quick-fire copper, Quick-fire Bronze XT, and low-shrinkage Steel XT. Regular bronze (mid-fire) cannot be used in this project, since the earrings are fired at high-fire schedule because of the large amount of steel that is used in them. Steel has to be low-shrinkage so it can shrink at the same rate as the copper and bronze.
You will need 4 dome molds to shape the lentils, and many circle cutters in different sizes, including tubes and straws.
1. Roll a layer of copper, 2 cards thick, over a slightly textured sheet, such as fine sandpaper. (The texture will make it easy to clean up the earrings after firing.)
2. Cut 4 circles out of the copper sheet, at the desired size of the earrings, and dome them over the molds.
3. Pick a smaller circle cutter, and cut a circle in two of the copper domes, off-center. Remove the cutout circles. Do not cut the smaller circles before you dome the bigger ones; otherwise, the larger circles will lose their shape once you pick them up! The circles with the cut-outs will be the front parts of the earrings. The other two will be the back parts. Dry them all. If you can’t use a heating pan, dry in the air, with a hair dryer, or in a vegetable dehydrator.
4. Once the cut-out domes separate from the molds, remove them and continue to dry them on a heating pan.
5. Repeat step 1 with steel clay. Use a smaller circle cutter than in step 3 to cut 2 circles. Lay the circles on the same dome molds as before. It is important that the curve stays the same!
6. Use a smaller cutter than in step 5 to cut a circle, off-center, in each steel dome.
7. Wet the steel domes with a paintbrush. Pick a dry copper dome and lay it on top of the steel one, so the wider part of the steel shows through the hole in the copper dome. Repeat this with the other earring. Then dry again.
8. Repeat step 1 with Bronze XT. Pick a smaller cutter than in step 6 and cut 2 circles. Dome them over the same mold.
9. Pick a smaller cutter than in step 8 and cut a circle, off-center, in each bronze dome. Remove the cut-out circle.
10. Wet the bronze circles. Pick up the copper and steel domes, stacked, and place them over the bronze domes, so the larger area of the bronze shows through the steel hole. Dry.
11. Rub all 4 domes on a piece of 150-grit sandpaper, using a figure-8 motion, to flatten the edges of the domes. Once you get a perfect fit between each 2 parts, join them together with water.
12. Drill a hole at the top of each earring and insert a bronze wire eyelet or embeddable. Seal the hole and dry.
13. Fire the earrings positioned on carbon on their narrow end. Use the stove-top method for first phase, then fire in the kiln at high-fire schedule.
14. Finish the earrings by cleaning them with 2 radial discs mounted on a screw mandrel. They will be able to reach all hidden spots.
Good luck! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about this project.