ARTISTS PROJECT SERIES: “Love Heals” by Lorena Angulo

Cool Tools and Creative Fire are proud to present another project in the “Artist Project Series”.  Thank you Lorena for this beautiful and detailed pendant step-by-step. (Please note that you can enlarge all photos by clicking on them.)

Love Heals

This necklace is inspired in the mini niches you can see around Mexico where you can add symbolic objects to protect yourself and your home. Niches also display objects that have a special meaning, in this case a Milagro Heart and the birds.

As the title says, Love Heals, we all have to be surrounded by love to protect us and heal any wounds we may have. Live your life with Love and respects for others, this will enriched you.

With my project I want to inspire you to create a niche with an object that has a strong meaning for you and your life.

Liver of sulfur gel
Silk thread
French wire

Craft mat (work surface)
Craft paper (metal clay work surface)
Color-Quick Thickness Guide Set
Needle tool
Rubber tip tool
Wood toothpick
Scotch tape
Acrylic snake maker
X-Acto knife
Micro carving tool Dockyard – 1.5mm “v” gouge
Badger balm
Paint brush
Spray water bottle
Small water container
Steel wire brush
Ball head hammer
Steel bench block
Kiln (I have a Paragon SC2)

Step 1:

Draw an idea in paper and cut it out to use it as a stencil.





Step 2:

Roll your metal clay three cards thick and cut out the stencil to make the first frame for the niche. Let the clay dry.



After the clay is dry, you can start cleaning out the borders with an x-Acto knife.




Step 3:
After you finished cleaning all around the borders, you will be ready to start making the second layer for your frame. This time you need to roll your clay two cards thick and spray some water on top of the rolled clay. We need to have the coat of water to lay on top of your rolled clay the first frame you made. Add the first frame on top and gently press down into the water surface of the rolled clay.

Cut out the silhouette of the frame with a needle tool without cutting out the center of the frame.


Step 4:
After you cut out all around the frame, you need to add water all around it with a small paint brush; this will assure you the two layers are joined. Go around the frame more than one time and let the water absorbed in the clay before you put it to dry on your warm surface (like a small candle warmer.)

Step 5:
After the frame has been dry, now you are ready to clean the borders with an x-Acto knife and get ready to start carving your frame.


Step 6:
Using a micro carving tool, you need to carve your design carefully in your dry niche frame. Be gentle and take your time, do not rush it. If you feel more comfortable drawing with a pencil first to help you as a guide to carve; you can do it.




Step 7:
To make the eyes of the birds and to open the holes on top to add a chain after fire, you need to use your x-Acto knife and twisting in a circular motion the knife will make a perfect circle. Be careful and go slowly.





Step 8:
After you finished the carving, you are ready to add the heart in the center of the frame.

Roll the clay three cards thick and using your heart stencil, cut out the heart. You will need to add water in the center of your frame before you cut out the heart. Add the freshly cut out heart on top of the watered surface in the center of your frame. Press gently the heart down and using a small paint brush with water, go all around the heart. Let the water soak in before bringing the whole piece to the warm area to be dry.

Continue to Part 2