Make a Metal Clay Spring Rose Necklace
Metal clay is a fantastic material and is even better when combined with lovely semi-precious stones like these stunning rose quartz beads
You will need:
50grams of PMC or Art Clay (you can use less if you make a smaller pendant)
Card to make your rose template
Clay shaping tools
Metal Clay Syringe (small amount)
Small over cutter and large oval cutter
Use of a kiln for firing (the London Jewellery School offer this service at £10 per kiln)
Large, round faceted rose quartz beads
2 x large silver crimps
Roll out as much clay as possible to 4 cards thick using a plastic roller and then place your rose template (or other design) on top of the clay ready to cut. To make your template, simply draw or print your rose shape onto a piece of card and cut it out. Use card instead of paper to make it thicker and stronger.
Using a needle tool, carefully and swiftly cut out your shape and put the spare clay in cling film so that it can be reused to make your beads and clasp. Whilst cutting your clay be sure to hold the template in place so that you can get a clean and accurate shape. Once you have finished leave the metal clay rose to dry.
Once your piece is dry you want to gently sand and file the edges. I have used a mixture of sanding pads and needle files for getting into all of the gaps in the middle of the piece. Spend time to make sure that all the edges are smooth and free of scratches, as this will make your finished piece look professional.
Now you can attach a bail to the back of your piece, which will be used for attaching it to the rest of the necklace. Roll out some clay to four cards thick and using a tissue blade cut a thin strip. Cut your strip down to a few centimeters long and wet it slightly before curving it into a U-shape. Add a small amount of paste or syringe to each side and then place it on your piece. Use a clay shaping tool to smooth the attachment and then leave the piece to dry.
To make the clasp cut out two oval shapes with oval holes in the middle using cookie cutters. Roll these out to 6 cards thick and add a texture, going down to 4 cards. Then make a very small gap in the oval shapes using a tissue blade. Once this is dry use your hand drill to make a hole each side to attach to the necklace.
Now you can make the metal clay beads for your necklace. Roll out your clay and add a texture to one side to make the final thickness 4 cards. Cut your clay into approx.1cm thick strips using a tissue blade and place these over a standard sized drinking straw. Cut the clay down to size with you tissue blade and join the two ends of the bead together using some metal clay syringe. I have made a swirly pattern with the syringe to add detail to the piece and disguise the join.
Make sure that all of your metal clay elements; the large rose pendant, five metal clay beads and the oval joining clasps are all fully dried out, sanded and ready to go in the kiln. Then put them in at 900 degrees for 2 hours. You can put them in for less time but this will allow maximum strength, which is ideal, particularly for the clasp and large pendant.
Once the pieces are out of the kiln you can begin the polishing process. Brush them with a brass brush, followed by going through the polishing papers until they are lovely and shinny. If you have a barrel-polishing machine, you can put them in there at this stage. Make sure you do all of the polishing now before attaching the metal clay to the semi-precious stones.
Finally, thread the large rose pendant onto a thick cord of tigertail wire, then thread on your large rose quartz beads and your handmade metal clay beads to make a nice design that you are happy with. Attach your oval shaped clasp on to each end using a silver crimp and check that you have the correct size for your neck before crimping and cutting the ends off. And that completes your lovely spring rose necklace.
Please Note: Our classes are suitable for those aged 16 and over & for health and safety reasons, all students need to wear closed toe shoes when coming to the workshop. If you have any access requirements, please contact us before booking a course. And due to our small class sizes we are unable to offer transfers or refunds on our courses once booked. Please make sure you can make the date before booking. Thanks LJS x