Re-Making an Existing Piece


Do you have a PMC creation that you’d like to change? To a certain extent, you can. You may, depending on the tools at hand, remove silver then add clay or silver to your liking.  

Here is an example. I made some prototypes, as I call them, experiments really. They were earrings and pendants with nonsensical characters scratched into them. Looking back, it was a creative moment that went nowhere and feels silly in hindsite. This is part of the process—some things work out, some don’t. There is no such thing as failure; there is only feedback.

I did like their form though — shadow boxes. So, I decided to get rid of the characters and make mountain scenes. Here is how I did it. Each step is in the caption under the photo.

FIrst, on the earrings, I had to remove the posts. I heated each one with a torch until the earring dropped off.

Here the earring has fallen off, and I’m left holding the post that I would discard.

I took a rough polishing disc and removed any remaining solder.

I thought it best to remove all the patina, which I did with a torch. When I add new silver it should be added directly to
as-clean-as-possible old silver so the silver molecules can mingle.

I had the scratched characters to fill in, so I did so with syringe clay.

I pressed the syringe into the scratches with a rubber finger. Here is where one’s own fingers are just too big for the job.
I love rubber fingers.

I allowed the silver to dry then sanded the surface.

The sanded earring

On top of the flat surface then, I began building what I wanted. Here I painted paste in streaks to begin to look like sky.

I am going to add mountains. So I rolled some clay only one card thick.

I found a circle template to match the earring. I cut out a mountain silhouette then removerd the unwanted clay.

Here are two mountain ranges ready to be placed on their earrings. I take a wet paintbrush and scoop them up from underneath.

The mountains were placed and then I added my usual “tons of water” and stroked with the paintbrush until I was satisfied with their shape and appearance.

Instead of using a circle template, I used the actual earring for this remake. The circle will be slightly smaller due to the clay shrinking when drying and firing. To me this translates to a black line around my pattern in the finished piece.

Here is a circle in place. I’m working the edges with a rubber finger.

Here are all the pieces I was re-creating, drying on the coffee mug warmer.

Here are all the pieces after firing, soldering, and tumbling. I can’t remember the conventional tumbling regiment, because I tumble at two stages—one after my brass brushing and one when the piece is finished.

After a Black Max patina, I finish the piece using a variety of polishing discs.

Before and After Photos

Shadow box post earrings before, …..

Shadow box post earrings after

Shadow box pendant before, …...

Shadow box pendant after. Notice a tiny “cloud” or scratched area remained.

Other after post earrings (no before photo). Notice the patina black line I referred to above.

Shadow box round pendant before, …...

Shadow box round pendant after with a full moon and river.

Shadow box round pendant before, …...

Shadow box round pendant after with a blazing sun baking an etched hillside.

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2019