Backs, Bails and Beyond – Give your work the ﬁnish it deserves by JOY FUNNELL
Decorating the back of your piece should not be an after- thought. Make it a feature from the start and part of your design. Here are some of the methods I use.
Add a texture to both sides of the metal clay at the same time. Roll the clay out to 1.5 mm (6 cards) thick, then lay it on top of a lightly oiled texture sheet. Place 1 mm spacers (4 cards) on each side of the clay and add another oiled texture sheet, face down, on top of the clay and spacers. Make sure that both the clay and the spacers are in between the two texture sheets, like the ﬁlling in a sandwich, or your clay may end up too thin. Use your roller to roll across the top of the sandwich in one smooth, ﬁrm action and voila – clay textured on both sides ready to be cut and shaped however you like.
A nice bail can be a real feature. The simplest method of hanging a piece is just to cut a hole in the clay and then add a jump ring, but why not make the bail part of the decoration?
The type of bail I use most often in my work is a question mark shape. Roll out clay to 1 mm (4 cards) thick and cut out a narrow ribbon. Wrap the clay around an oiled straw to make a question mark or U shape and let it dry on the straw. Reﬁne the bail and then attach it using syringe to ensure a really strong join. Make the bail plain for contrast with the back or give it a complementary texture.
Bend a larger textured strip or shape of clay over a straw and attach to the top of your dried piece. This type of bail is very useful if you want to make your piece reversible, and people love having two pendants for the price of one!
JOY FUNNELL is passionate about using colours and textures in her work. She combines traditional enamel with silver to create vibrant, unique pieces, and delights in the privilege of being able to impart knowledge to others. To see a rainbow will bring a smile to her face no matter what. She strives to be – Joy by name and Joyful by nature.