Saturday, January 21, 2012

This little cactus doesn't hurt!

Because I am a fan of all things crafty, the darling husband bought me silver precious metal clay as a Christmas gift.  I have played with many clays before, but this was my very first experience with this clay "body".  

For those of you that may not be familiar with precious metal clay, let me catch you up to speed.  Precious metal clay (PMC) is composed of microscopic particles of precious metal, held together with an organic binder.  Although the working properties are slightly different than other clays (remember, this isn't exactly a "true" clay), it can still be formed in a similar fashion.  I've even heard that people have used it on a wheel- how crazy is that?  Anyway, the clay is then dries, fired in a kiln or with a torch, burnished, polished and buffed.  The organic binder is burned off in the firing process, leaving just the metal behind. 

The husband bought me PMC+ Silver to play around with, and it was an experience to say the least.  It is difficult to explain just how different it feels from normal clays, so you are just going to have to take my word on this one.  I found it to be a little less forgiving than true clay bodies, but I hope with a little more experience, I'll get the hang of working with it.  This was the outcome of my playing:

I really wish I took a "before" picture so I could put it next to this one.  PMC+ shrinks approximately 10% when it is fired, and of course I didn't take any measurements beforehand.  I was just too eager to get it fired!

I decided to make a slide-pendant instead of having a loop on top of the cactus.  I don't have a current symbol to use as my signature so I just went with a "W".

I had a lot of fun with this project once I got a better feel of the clay.  I was actually really discouraged with it at first, and I am glad that I stuck with it!  Now what should my next project be?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Manicure contest!

After checking out the latest updates on the few blogs I read, I discovered that one of the lovely bloggers is hosting a manicure contest!  Using your favorite mug as inspiration, design and paint a manicure, and then submit a picture of your cute mani with the mug.  Simple, to the point, and most importantly- fun!  Of course I had to participate in this contest, and I selected my NASA mug as inspiration.  I had seen a few galaxy/nebula manis before, but I have never attempted one myself.  I must say, I am quite please with how it turned out!

Here is the link to Constantly Redone's blog, and happy painting!

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