Trying something new

I’m a self confessed magpie…anything shiny, and I’m instantly drawn to it. When on holiday I love it when I stumble across shops that sell things I I haven’t seen at home, or browsing stalls at local markets. I should say that nothing I buy is very expensive – I’d need to win the lottery to do that!  It’s a bit ridiculous really, as I find myself wearing the same earrings and necklaces over and over again, and I rarely wear bracelets or bangles because I’ve got annoyingly thin wrists.

The enjoyment I get from crochet has led me to think about trying out other crafts, and at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh I attended a workshop to learn to make a pendant using silver clay. It’s something that I’ve thought about trying for a while, but I had no idea where to start, so this was the ideal opportunity to combine my love of anything shiny with my desire to learn another craft.

At the workshop we got an introduction to what silver clay is, how to use it and how to go about firing it at home. This had been the bit that I’d been most intrigued about as without access to a kiln, I wasn’t sure how to do it, however I learnt that you can easily fire pieces on a gas hob, problem solved! When the class finished I had a small piece of the clay leftover so I took it home, and decided to have a go at making something, and this pendant is the result.

silver clay pendant

After forming it into a small disc shape, I used the end of a thin straw to give it some texture and to make the hole for the chain to go through. To fire it, I placed it on top of a piece of stainless steel mesh on the gas hob. I’d ordered a couple of tools online so had a brush to polish it after firing, and it’s during the polishing stage it turns from white to silver. It’s a bit rough, and I still have a heck of a lot to learn, but I’m pretty happy with the result.

The downside to this hobby is the price, unfortunately silver clay is significantly more expensive than yarn, so I’ll have to have a plan in mind before I start to make anything else with the packet of clay ready and waiting to be used. I have a few ideas, I just need to settle on one. Ideally I’d like to get to the point where I could make gifts for friends and family, but one step at a time!

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