Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sterling Silver Metal Clay Testing Results with Casting Investment (Ring Plugs)

In September I posted the results from testing the sterling silver clay in August. In this test I found that using an investment plug causes a reaction with the sterling silver clay.

Someone told me that I could place this back into the kiln and fire it again to remove the black.
I did just that and found that it does not go away! I also tried pickleing it in Sparex, it still didn't fade away!
 The only way to remove it is to sand! 

So, fair warning to everyone. Do not use an investment plug to control the ring size. Wrapping it with fiber paper didn't work either.  For the sterling silver metal clay, create the ring three sizes up from the wanted finished size allowing it to shrink down close to the size needed.

Until next time!

Janet Alexander

Friday, April 20, 2012

Creating Spectacular Faux Stones With Ice Resin

By Janet Alexander

Sometimes I like to make my own creative stones out of resin. Using Ice Resin gives a non-yellowing clear look.

Today I'd like to show how to create faux stones made from Ice Resin.

Supplies Needed:
  • Plastic candy molds (I used square molds)
  • Ice Resin
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • Small mixing cups
  • Black eye shadow
  • Silicone mold release agent
  • Stuff to embed into the stone. Ideas include:
  • Copper wire
  • Screen mesh
  • Glass frit (string)
  • Mica
  • Golden flakes (found at hobby store)
  • Copper flakes
  • Spices like parsley, Cilantro, peppers, and the like.

I use candy molds. The don't require using a release agent. Otherwise spray some silicone release agent into the mold.

The faux stone has 3 layers and is built from the top down in the mold.
Make the first clear layer for the top of the stone. This gives the illusion of depth to the stone and keeps the embedded items from poking out of the top.

1.   Mix a small amount of resin per the manufacturer’s instructions.
2.   Pour into the mold until it is 1/3 filled.
     Allow to set 24 hours.
3.   Cover the mold so that dust and debris   cannot accidentally get into the resin.
4.   Make the second (center layer).
  • Decide what embedded item should be seen closest to the top of the stone. Don’t place anything large in this layer as it will block the view of the bottom layer.
  • Place a few small items on this layer.  Here I added gold flake, egg shell, parsley, and black frit to different molds.
5.   Mix a small amount of resin and add to first layer.
6.   Cover the mold and allow the mixture to set 24 hours.
7.   Make the bottom layer. 
  • Adding a few more items to this layer gives the stone depth.
  • Place a few small items on this layer.
  • Adding mica gives it an opal look.
  • Mix a small amount of resin and add to second layer completely filling the mold.
8.   Cover the mold and allow the mixture to set completely per the manufacturer’s instructions.

9.   Remove resin from mold.  Placing it in the freezer makes removal easier.