Artist Project Series-Cynthia Thornton

A solar eclipse is rare and unusual, so is this creative bracelet by Cynthia Thorton!  Create something unique with this multi-media project that combines EZ960™ Sterling Silver Clay, resin, polymer clay and beads and finishes of your choice!  Thank you to Cool Tools for sponsoring this series of projects.

Tools:
Kiln
Basic sculpting tools
Water mister
Paint brushes (detail size 0, 1 and 2)
Brass brush
Polishing pads

Materials:
EZ960™ Sterling Silver Clay
Beeswax ‘clay’ ( beeswax melted down with a bit of glycerin to make it malleable- available online as a natural kids clay, but simple to make)
Water Paper towels Clear resin – a doming variety would be great ( like ICE
Resin)
Stir sticks
Rubber gloves
Tiny plastic cups with measurements indicated
10 gauge bronze wire
Acrylic paints in Prussian blue, quinacridone magenta, yellow, white Acrylic
Iridescent powder

To make the bezel:

1. Shape the beeswax clay into a football and squeeze into a form you like.Remember clay will be added around this, so keep in mind this is basically the interior of the bezel and will be melted away. I prefer this wax to cork clay because it can be detailed and can hold all kinds of shapes, especially when it’s cold. The other great thing is it doesn’t dry out like cork clay.

2. Roll out a piece of silver clay a little less than half the size of the wax. It can be rolled pretty thin. I experimented with different thicknesses
of clay and discovered that it can be rolled to one playing card thickness without collapsing in the kiln if the tips of the bezel are reinforced with
more clay.

3. Fold the sheet of clay around the wax form, enclosing the wax and leaving an opening to pour resin into. Pinch the corners and smooth down the excess into the points to reinforce them. Use water to smooth the seams.

4. Next, roll out two small balls of clay and poke a hole into the center to form the bails. Then, attach them to the bezel, smoothing down and seams. Remember to consider the size of the hole and the size of wire that will begoing through it. The clay shrinks so it’s important to factor this into the size. I made mine fairly small, but if you want to make a bail that will also function as a clasp, make it larger.

5. Allow the piece to dry thoroughly, skipping any hot plates or dehydrators, as the warmth could distort the shape.

6. After the piece has completely dried (this can be checked by placing the piece on glass and if any condensation collects under it, let it dry longer)
place the bezel in the kiln on an open shelf and fire at 1650F for two hours and let cool naturally.

7. Once the piece is cool, use a brass brush to buff the surface. It can also be tumbled or finished with a flex shaft, but try to keep the interior
on the less shiny side, so the acrylics will stick to it. Too shiny and the paints will slide around and bead up, causing serious annoyance.

9. For the resin, read all instructions carefully! Some resins have different mixing ratios, but all must be mixed exactly as described. Most
are a 1:1 ratio, meaning each part must be exactly the same.

Resin is just one idea to fill the interior – imagine crystals embedded into the epoxy, or a polymer carving! This technique is fairly simple and yields results that would be difficult and time-consuming to cast (imagine digging out all that investment).

This piece was inspired by the protective eye symbol, which can be found in almost every culture and throughout history. The eye symbolizes watchfulness and searching. I used the image of a nebula for its jewel like colors and also as a reminder of the vastness of our universe.

Design possibilities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Thornton is a maker of small things and lives in Asheville, NC with her children Max and Azalea, husband Greg and their cats, fish and dog. They own and operate Green Girl Studios, a company specializing in hand crafted pewter, bronze and silver beads, pendants and buttons.

To see more, check out:
www.greengirlstudios.com

Lampwork glass beads: Tammy Rae https://www.tammyrae.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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