These silver earrings were made from Art Clay Silver clay. They are a simple project for anyone who has never used this precious metal clay.
I used just 10g (5g for each earring) which I divided into two pieces. Digital scales are useful for weighing into equal sizes.
To make the shape, I rolled each piece of clay into a ball and then pierced the ball with a tapestry needle near the edge. Working the tapestry needle around the hole, I distorted the orifice and thinned out the silver clay along the top edge. I then squeezed and pulled the bead gently at the top edge to create the shape shown in the third image below. You have to work quickly as the clay begins to dry out while you handle it. Imperfections can be smoothed over with a wet paint brush or removed with sandpaper once the clay is dry.
When the beads had dried (allow at least 12 hours) I used a fine file and sandpaper to tidy up any flaws in the surface before firing.
There are three methods for firing Art Clay Silver clay which include using a kiln, a gas hob or blowtorch (find out more about firing Art Clay Silver clay).
I used a blowtorch and when fired, brushed off the white residue before compacting the surface with a burnisher to make it shiny.
To make the earrings, I connected each bead to a sterling silver fish hook earwire with a 6mm sterling silver bolt ring.
All the materials and tools used for making the earrings can be found in the Jewellery Making section of the George Weil website.
~ Allison Holland