Ready for the kiln…

These bronze metal clay embellishments are almost ready to be fired.  I’ve dried them thoroughly on a thin sponge in a hydrator.  The next step is to hand finish them before firing.  I sand off any rough edges and clean up the holes with a metal burr.  Hand finishing takes a bit of time, but is worth it in the long run.   Because they will be used in jewelry making and beading projects, it is imperative that they not have sharp edges which could cut thread or even worse, the person wearing it.  I pay careful attention to this step.  After firing, I recheck every single piece for any spots that may have been missed in the refining process and if I find any, they must be smoothed with a sanding wheel.  The final step after firing is polishing.  Depending on the finish I would like the pieces to have, I can satin finish them with a brass brush or they can be placed in my jeweler’s tumbler for a medium to high shine finish.  These versatile shapes will embellish numerous pieces.  I can hammer silver wire and thread them on for earrings, or add them to a bead embroidered project.  In fact, I have a shawl that could be greatly improved by stitching a few of these little treasures at the corners!

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on March 29, 2012.

One Response to “Ready for the kiln…”

  1. it’s always nice to see the process behind the finshed product. Thanks 🙂

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