Sep 27 2013

Hadar’s Molds – A Project for Two Molds

As promised, here is the first of a few projects demonstrating some of what you can do with Hadar’s molds. The piece in the photo below is a concave pendant made with Rose Bronze.

Mokume-Gane 2 and Tree Bark

I used two molds for this piece: Mokume-Gane 2 and Tree Bark.

Mokume-gane 2

Tree bark

You will need a concave area to dry the clay on. You can use a small bowl or a sapping die. I like to use plastic fondant mold. They come in various sizes, and they are cheap and available from Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics.


1. Roll a layer of clay 4 cards thick. Pick a circle, more or less the same size as the Mokume-Gane 2 mold, and cut a circle out of the layer. Lay it in the concave area. It is recommended to dry it at least halfway before continuing. You can dry it in the air, in a vegetable dehydrator, or with a hair dryer, but not on a warming pan, because the plastic will melt.


2. Once the base layer is dry or almost dry, roll a layer of clay, 8 cards thick, and press it well into into the Mokume-Gane 2 mold to get a good impression. As you press it, it will become thinner.


3. Cut a rectangle out of the center of the mold. Lay it on the backing layer, in the center or off center.


4. Roll a layer textured with the Tree Bark mold. If you like, make it with a different metal. It does not have to be the same thickness as the center piece, but don’t make it thicker, since that would make it hard to reach the center piece for finishing after firing.

5. With a tissue blade, cut a vertical line on the left side of the layer.

Cut a line

As you can see in the photo, I used the mold called Crater, but I changed my mind because it seemed to be competing with the main texture.

6. Wet the backing layer and lay the layer adjacent to the mokume-gane rectangle.

Lay the layer

7. With a knife, cut away the excess clay from the layer; let the dry backing layer lead your knife. The water will make the layer stay put and not move while you are cutting.

Cut away

8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the left side of the rectangle. This time, cut a vertical line on the right side of the layer (step 5) and lay in the left side of the rectangle (step 6).

9. Dry the piece completely. You can remove it from the concave area and place it face down on the heating pan.

10. Fill the gapes between the backing layer and the overlays with clay. Dry again.

11. Make a bail on the back of the pendant. You can find a suggestion for a certain type of bail in my book The Handbook of Metal Clay: Textures and Forms, second edition, p. 36.

12. Fire the piece using the firing schedule appropriate for the clay that you used (see Instruction Manual for Hadar’s Clay from September 26, 2013.

13. Since this piece is textured, finishing is relatively easy. Use radial discs to clean the Tree Bark texture. For a good contrast, you can sand the mokume-gane rectangle, first with 220-grit sandpaper, then with 400 grit. See more information on finishing in the document entitled “Finishing Fired Metal Clay” on my blog.

Sep 22 2013

“Yet Another Quilt” Follow-up – Introducing Hadar’s Molds


Organic Mechanics

Mokume-Gane 7

Mokume-Gane 8

Cat's Eyes

Mokume-Gane 5

Holey Hexagons

Empty Spaces

Empty Circles

Mokume-Gane 3

Mokume-Gane 4


What the textures on the quilt and in the photos above have in common is that they are all hand-crafted and part of the first series of Hadar’s molds, which is are now available on my online store.

Creating texturing and forming molds is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. These are molds that I created for my own work. They are not copied from natural or found objects nor computer generated. All masters are hand-made through an elaborate, labor intensive process.

Before getting into this venture I asked myself whether, being a teacher, I should teach how to make these mold rather that make them for sale. Indeed, my books include projects for making a few of these molds. However, they take a long time and much effort to make. Most of them also involve the loss of substantial amounts of clay, and have to be done over and over to reach the desired result.

The first collection includes 33 molds. They are all flexible, made from high-grade silicone putty which picks up fine details. They are all reversed: when you press the clay into the mold you will get the positive, the original pattern that the master displays. There is no need to make a mold from the mold.

In the next few weeks I will be posting projects and suggestion for using these molds, on my blog. Here are some options for using the set of molds called “Holey Rectangles”.

This is a set of three textured rectangles with slightly different size and pattern. They can be made into earrings, bracelets and necklaces.


1. Rub the mold with an oiled toothbrush. Press the clay into the mold and pull it out.

Press the clay into the mold

2. Stick a wire eyelet or embeddable at the top of the rectangle.

Add an eyelet

3. Repeat step 1 and 2 for the second earring. Sand, fire and finish.

Brilliant Bronze earrings


1. For a bracelet you may want the links to be 2-sided. In this case, make two pieces for each link.

Make 2 pieces for each link

2. Dry the pieces, and attach them back to back with wet clay.

Attach back to back

3. Dry again, then seal the joint with wet clay.

Seal the joint

4. Dry again, then drill two side holes in each link.

Drill side holes

5. Sand smooth, fire, finish and assemble. The bracelet in the photo bellow was assembled with flexible cord and black pearls as spacers.

Holey Link Bracelet

Suggestion: Make a mixed metal Holey Link Bracelet:

Mixed metal links


The process is the same as that of the bracelet. The links don’t need to be two sided, though, and require only one side hole.

Steel Holey Link Necklace

Necklace by Sherry Johannes

Sep 19 2013

Yet Another Quilt

Is this just another quilt? Hint: click on the image to enlarge. What do the different textures have in common?

Local students and friends: please don’t give away the answer.