Saturday, October 9, 2010

organic material...

Whenever I start experimenting with a new medium, I get fixated on finding out all the different ways I can use it. I also try to use it in a less obvious way than might be expected, yet still work with the strengths it offers.

Have been feeling that using metal clay to just create typical pendant shapes, etc, is a bit obvious, and something that could be achieved simply with plain silver and basic silversmithing skills (of which I have none). The advantages of metal clay lie in the fact that it can pick up exceptional detail from moulds and so on... and the shrinkage that occurs can be used advantageously - the detail becomes even finer. See below for an example:

Silver clay was pressed into a silicone mould I cast from a sage
leaf, dried (with the aid of a heat gun) and then fired to burn away the
organic binder and leave the silver behind.

The other advantage of silver clay is that it can also be used to create hollow forms by layering metal clay slip over objects that are then burnt away during firing.

So... am going to try creating silver pieces for jewellery by firing organic material (dead leaves, etc) that has been coated in metal clay slip. Not sure if it will work by firing it on a stove top, but is well worth a try. Anyway. Will update with results later.

Here is a pic of the leaves and things I collected for my experiment.

If all goes to plan, I should end up with hollow silver replicas of these things. The beauty of this, too, is that the silver left behind (99.9% pure) is quite malleable. If I'm creating thin, fine pieces from roots and leaves, I should be able to reshape it one fired - entwine it around other pieces and so on.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! I can't wait to see how these things turn out! They're going to be stunning!