Sunday, 21 March 2010

Fossils Revisited

Long-time followers may remember my exitement at finding a tiny but perfect fossil on a trip to Charnmouth a couple of summers ago. This is it before I was brave enough to clean it up;

This fossil inspired my fossil bead series and I have been harbouring ideas of making some silver jewellery from my ammonite too. This weekend I finally got around to it. Silver clay is not my most favourite medium to work in as I am by no means a perfectionist with it, but I wanted an organic finish to the pieces, so my rougher style was for once an advantage!

First, I made a mould of my fossil from a flexible alginate-based compound.

Then I filled the mould with precious metal clay.

I popped the moulded ammonite out and left it to dry completely. Then I made another! I attached some fine silver earring posts to the back of the earrings with clay paste, and left them to dry again. Then I sanded the pieces to neaten the edges and fired them.

Once they had cooled I brushed them with a brass bristle brush to reveal the satiny silver surface. Then I burnished the earrings with an agate burnisher to bring out the shine and popped them in my tumbler for a couple of hours. Finally, I polished them with jeweller's rouge. This is the end result.

Then I decided to make an ammonite charm too, which I have used in a necklace I made for myself. I used some of my organic lampwork beads with some citrine, smoky quartz and crystal quartz briolettes, and hung them of a silver ring which I hammered to texturise. I don't often make jewellery for myself, so I'm realy pleased with my matching necklace and earring set. I've also made an extra charm which I've just turned into a simple pendant.

I'm off out to lunch today to celebrate my parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary, which is the perfect occasion to wear my new jewellery!


Mel P said...

These are gorgeous xx

the perfect pear said...

wow! these are so beautiful! i love it, its so creative :)

i'd love it if you'd visit my blog :)