Monday, October 8, 2012

Flower storm

I'm so happy that one of my pieces got into Holly Gage's calendar :). It's the second time my work is published in this wonderful publication. This year it's my "Flower storm" necklace. I made it of Goldie Bronze, sterling silver and SO beautiful, blue-green labradorite. It was so much fun making it. Actually I think this was my biggest metal clay piece ever. It barely fitted my firing pan ;). Surprisingly I had totally no problems with firing it, so it was another successful trial with Waldo Iłowiecki's bronze.

It began as a sketch. I just drew a rough idea of the design around the stone. I have quite big collection of labradorite cabochons, and that day this one seemed to be particularly inspiring. I saw a storm inside it :) and wanted to use it in a dynamic, intricate design. I wanted to make something really big and openwork.

I formed the base of  the necklace out of twig-like textured, thin coils. I like working on plexiglass, because I can put my sketches under it and they are still visible. This way I can easily use a sketch as a very accurate reference.

Then I added tiny balls and flowers...

 ...and decided that it would be nice to make two smaller elements, connecting the main part of the necklace with a chain I wanted to add later. I also added a plain "arch" to create nice contrast between rich organic ornaments and smooth, shiny surface.
Then I fired the piece ( I used the firing schedule I described in my post about Goldie Bronze™), made a soldered bezel cup for the stone and attached it to the main part. I added a few jump rings and a chain. The last thing to do was to slightly bend the necklace, to make it fit nicely a curvature of wearer's neckline. This bronze is really strong, so it wasn't a problem at all.

The same week I made also two other pieces similar in style. The first one was a "Flower storm" bangle, also with a labradorite cab. I wanted to check if it's possible to make strong and secure prong setting using Goldie Bronze. Totally positive. The second piece was a pair of earrings, adorned with flat, black pearls. It was quite tricky to make one earring look like a mirror image of another one, but I succeeded... more or less ;).

Well, enough about bronze for now. Recently I'm working with another wonderful material - green gold clay by Michelle Felice Glaeser! I also finally used my package of Art Clay 22K yellow gold clay ( I had it for 3 years ;D and it was still moist and pliable!). I'll write more about it soon :).


  1. Hi Anna. Lovely pieces:)

    Can you help me? I've had sooo much trouble making tiny balls out of Goldie, because it's so loose. When I put the tiny bit on my palm, as soon as I touch it with my finger to roll it into a ball, it flattens and I can't get a ball shape back. I have no trouble with silver clay. Any suggestions?


    1. Hi Sue :) Thank you! By the way, I was totally amazed by your tutorial in previous issue of MCAM :).
      Actually at the beginning I had similar problem (I also had the same problem not only with balls but also with rolling thin coils), but two things solved it - firstly adding less water to the clay powder, and secondly letting the clay to "rest" for one day, before I used it. I don't know why is that, but it changes its consistecy a bit if you wait at least one day before using it (after adding water). It becomes less "muddy" and more elastic. It's still totally different than silver, but it's possible to make with it everything you make in silver.

    2. Thanks Anna...for the quick reply and the kind words:). I felt like I was trying to roll hair mousse into a ball:)....impossible. I'll give the resting a try:)

    3. Hi again Anna. Can you just tell me what formulation you are using for most of your the stuff above? What combo of hard/soft. Now that I have sintering (liftoff!) I'm still having tons of trouble with looseness. I shall wait for 1 day after mixing, but am also interested in what you use as I have not noticed a diff with hard or soft. Perhaps waiting a day I will notice.

      I do appreciate all of your technical tips...they have been very helpful:)

      Have a wonderful day.


    4. I used here only soft version. I haven't even try this hard Goldie yet. I have some, but I just kept using this soft version. It is a bit loose, but I quite like it. But I suppose if you want to make things like those beautiful containers of yours, you need something stiffer indeed. Joy Funnell mixes 50/50 as far as I know. So maybe you should try this formula.

  2. Tworzysz wspaniałą biżuterię:) Pozdrawiam serdecznie

  3. is there any way to get this or for sale anywhere? ;-;

    1. Hi :-)
      I don't have any of these for sale right now, but I make similar pieces from time to time. Just check my website