Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hidden Bails in Metal Clay

For the largest pieces in this series, I decided I did not want the bail to become a decorative element.  It was important for these pieces to maintain their simplicity and that meant building hidden bails for them.  I rolled out my clay and decided an elongated oval would be the best shape and cut it to the length of the entire back.  I chose to wrap it around a straw and made sure it had been rubbed with olive oil to prevent the clay from sticking.  After cutting the oval, I slid my pin tool under one end and gently lifted the piece off my working mat.  I draped it over the straw and gave it a moment to set up.  I wet the back of my piece and placed pasted where the two ends of the bail would come into contact with the pendant.  I lifted the straw and placed the bail, gently pressing each end to secure it and cleaned up around its edges.  Once the piece began to dry enough so it would hold its form, I gently twisted the straw as I pulled it out.  I didn't want to wait until it was completely dry because I was concerned it would shrink too tight around the straw.  

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