Charm bracelets are a huge phenomenon in the jewellery industry. Usually given as a gift with some kind of sentimental thought behind it, they are also extremely expensive. Another issue that could be argued is that the choice of charms available, while not, by any stretch of the imagination, limited, you still only have a selection to choose from.
With that art clay has become more popular in being utilised for creating custom charm bracelets. Due to the versatility of the material, even someone with the widest scope could transfer their own ideas into a hand sculpted custom set of charms.
Art clay is extremely similar in the properties it holds to the more traditionally used clay. It can be moulded and shaped, be it by hand or tool, and then fired in a kiln as you would with standard clay.
The difference between the two is that when art clay is put in the kiln, the heat burns away the organic binder and water in the material. An end result is that the small metal particles also in the solution are left over, leaving pure sintered metal.
It may sound difficult to grasp on first hearing, but making a simple linked charm bracelet is incredibly simple. All that is required is some clay, a template – which can be found on many good internet hobby websites and some simple tools (tweezers, a rolling pin, a brush and a knife).
Due to the small scale of the pieces that will be created using the clay, it may be possible to fire using a butane torch. Some however, may prefer to use a clay kiln.
Once finished, the charm bracelet is then ready for the charms.
The possibilities are pretty much endless and the beauty of creating a clay charm bracelet lies in the personal craftsmanship of it.
Here is a short, simple guide to creating a basic charm for your charm bracelet:
An Open Book:
To create an open book charm, cut and trim two thin slabs of art clay – these will form the covers of the book. Having done this, take the narrower strip and lay the two thicker strips over the top.
Roll out a thick sheet of art clay, pressing it with a roller to represent the open pages of the book. Cut in half, creating two symmetrical pages. Lay these two pages onto the cover pieces, and then press down on the edges with a blade.
Once all together, cut a curved section away from the top edge of the book. This in effect will create a seat for the loop to sit on the charm bracelet. Dampen the area and place a small loop (created from the art clay) into position. This joint can be reinforced with slip, which will thus strengthen the joint.
While the open book charm, might not appeal too many, it is simple and provides a good foundation and practice. This will give good stead and will eventually allow progression to create more complex charms using art clay in the future.
Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of cooksongold.com. Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of supplies from over 10,000 products including gold and silver wire, jewellery findings, tools, precious metal clay and silver art clay – gold, silver, platinum and palladium plus technical information for jewellers, jobbers, designer, craftsmen, artisans and students.
what are some similarites and differences between art and craft using clay?
for example art and craft both use clay
well… arts uses same and different stuff… theres not much difference…
Art Clay Silver Moulds and Beyond
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