How to Make a Precious Metal Clay Pendant

Artist Barbara Burzillo shares her process for making her one-of-a-kind precious metal clay silver charm pendant

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Materials and Tools:

PMC+ silver metal clay
wire
gold ball
metal adhesive
rubber-tipped clay shapers and wooden skewer
heavy weight plastic wrap
Badger Balm or olive oil
baking pan and oven mitt
kiln or micro torch with soldering stand
cup of water
prongs
tumbler with stainless steel shot or wire brush
burnishing fluid
liver of sulfur
vapor mask
file
2 small paintbrushes
small pliers
sterling silver jump ring
chain or rubber cord with fitting
two-part silicone putty
fine-grit sandpaper

Steps:

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1. Bend wire into the desired charm shape.

2. Coat your hands lightly with balm and mix two-part silicone putty according to manufacturer's directions. Press the wire into a patty of putty to form the charm shape. Remove the wire from the putty.

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3. Coat the putty mold with balm.

4. Condition PMC clay and press it into the putty mold.

5. Sculpt the clay into the desired charm shape with a rubber-tipped clay shaper. The silver pendant will shrink 15 percent so make it slightly larger than the finished piece.

6. Make a hole for the bail at the top of the clay pendant using a wooden skewer.

7. Allow the charms silver pendant to dry thoroughly.

8. Fire the pendant in the kiln for approximately one hour at 1470 degrees.

9. Wearing an oven mitt, remove the pendant from the kiln with prongs.

10. Drop the silver pendant into a cup of water. This is called quenching.

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11. Remove any sharp edges with a file.

12. Remove the white film from the pendant by placing the piece in a tumbler with stainless steel shot, water and burnishing fluid for 45 minutes.

13. Remove the pendant from the tumbler.

14. Wearing a mask, apply liver of sulfur with a paintbrush to create a patina. Note: The whole pendant may be dipped in the patina.

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15. Remove excess patina and polish areas that you want to shine with fine-grit sandpaper.

16. Apply metal adhesive to the small gold ball accent piece and glue to the front of the pendant.

17. Attach a jump ring with pliers.

18. Attach the Karma Charms silver pendant to a chain or rubber cord and wear.

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