Monday, April 9, 2012

More Tips and Tricks from Janet Alexander

by Janet Alexander

Technical Advisor

Cabochon Stone Setting

I'd like to share a great tip from Senior PMC Instructor Marlynda Taylor. When she makes a ring with a cabochon stone setting, she fires each piece (the ring shank, ring top, and bezel) separately, avoiding many problems with shrinkage.

But the real tip she gave me was to drill a couple of holes through the ring top (the platform where the stone will sit) while the clay is in the dry stage. After everything is fired, attach the ring top to the ring band with oil slip, made from lavender oil added to PMC3 paste. The oil slip oozes into the holes creating a mechanical locking system and holding the ring top securely on the ring band. Just be sure you don't allow too much paste to flow up through the holes because it will keep the stone from sitting flat.

Cleaning Your Files

I like to use small needle files to fine-tune my dry metal clay, but they get clogged with the clay. To clean them, I use a file brush called a 'file card.' The file brush has short, stiff steel bristles that allow it to get into the tiny crevasses of the files.

Be sure to use a back-and-forth stroke in the angle of the file's teeth. And remember to always keep separate files for each metal clay type and sheet metal you use.

Keep the comments coming. We want your ideas and questions!

1 comment:

Diane said...

great tip about attaching the ring top and firing separately!