Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maker's Mark in Metal Clay

This series of small circular pendants has given me a number of different elements to explore that were simply not much of a notion with my more sculptural organic forms.  In addition to playing with resolving bails with these traditional forms, I began to consider stamping their quality to ensure they were not confused with a base metal clay.  I found a company that sold quality stamps for all metal clays and did custom tiny metal clay stamps, from signatures to logos to photos.  I used and had a super positive experience.  They have great images and videos on their site if you want to really see their products in action before purchasing, with clear instructions on creating the logo stamp.  

As you can see above, I ordered a custom stamp with my logo and a Fine Silver (FS999) quality stamp.  The stamps arrived after I had begun this series, so I thought I would try to make a bunch of small medallion-like pieces to paste on the back of the already dried forms.  As you can see from the image above, they were considerably smaller than a water bottle cap, which is perfect for the back of the jewelry.  It took some experimenting to figure the correct amount of pressure and rocking motion to get a clean stamp, but eventually I got the hang of it.  I stamped my logo, lined up the quality mark and used a tight circle template to encase them.  Due to its small scale, attaching the wet pieces without smooshing the design became more time consuming than I wanted.  Since these pieces were domed, I had to attach the stamped medallions while they were wet since the forms themselves were already in the greenware stage.  In the future, I would save this method of making a separate stamped piece and attaching to the back for flat pieces where I can attach two stable dried forms.  On curved or other difficult surfaces, I would stamp right into it while building it.  Below you can see the logo image I sent them and the dried stamped form before firing.  Check out my Wire Bails post from last week for a good image of it fired.


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