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Dragon’s Teeth

Morning all, tis Monday again.

I have been working extreme hours over the course of this month, partly because I do not wish to be at home and partly because I would like lots of loot.

There are credit cards and bills to pay, the usual boring things. However, I also wish to finally invest in some glass working equipment and possibly make my escape from mundanity. My contract expires at the end of August and so I would like to rejuvenate my business. I do not know if I am skilled enough to push it through in this financial environment but I will try my best.

The house sharing thing appears to be going ok, although I find myself yearning for a property of my own. I have been on the look out for somewhere to live but in all honesty it seems like everywhere is pokey and expensive. Plus mention that you have a feline companion and the letting agents look like you have grown a few extra heads!

I am guessing you would like to know why this post is titled ‘Dragon’s Teeth’? well, my lovely blurkers and readers, this is why…

It doesn’t look like much at first, but look closely and you can see where this tooth used to belong. Made from solid bronze and awaiting stringing into a finished piece.

Many warriors found their lives ended at the jaws that held this little tooth. Yet it was gentle enough to lift the tiniest dragonling to safety.

Did I mention I am very fond of Dragons?

Flights of fancy allow me to keep going, frankly. Theres a lot of ‘stuff’ tumbling around backstage here at Purky Towers currently and the fantasical offers that sweet escape.

I finished off my friendship cake, by the way. It was very tasty and I passed it on to several people. Sorry there are no photographs but I do not have easy access to a camera at the moment.

Much love to Blurkers and Readers, xx

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Epic Bronze, Cluster charm pendant necklace!

I have put off writing this tutorial for nearly two months.

I was too tired to edit the photos, couldn’t think of the right words….Utter bollocks.

I was emotionally drained and very sad by the whole event surrounding the pieces I created while making this tutorial. Remember the poorly behaved friend? Well this is her birthday present and she recieved it graciously.

Without further ado, here we go, straight into the how to bit….

This is bronze clay. It is a 200g packet from and cost about £35 quid I think..

It works along a similar principle to artclay silver and gold in that you form the object, dry it then fire it. The difference is that with this product you fire it in a kiln in an oxygen reduced environment.

Out of the packet it handles in a similar way to artclay, although it does need to be kept slightly moist I found personally.

I rolled out the clay using an acryllic rod on a glass sheet. I usually work on glass sheets because they can go straight inside my tabletop oven and they are easy to clean and transparent.

For this project I used Chinese seals to create four pendants. The were symbols for Health, prosperity, happiness and peace.

I applied even firm pressure to the stamp and carefully lifted it off. A few times I misted the stamps
with water so it did not stick.

Voila, cut out with cookie cutters.

I did not like the circular shape so I remade them as tear drops and pierced the holes using small Kemper cutters. The two items on the other side will be explained in a later blog….honest!

Also, I cleaned the charms up with a file and emery papers after they were dried in my tabletop oven. So when they were fired they would have lovely smooth edges.

Those little bad boys got fired in my cute little kiln inside a stainless steel firing pan filled with activated charcoal. I prefer the charcoal to coconut because of the patina it gives the finished objects.

I fired it up to 850 degrees centigrade ramped over approximately 8 hours and then held it for two. I am not superb at programming my kiln so its a bit hit and miss.

Here are the bronze charms. I left two as they appeared out of the kiln just to show you the difference that cleaning them up with a wire brush and some determination does!

The bronze clay has an organic binder that burns out during the firing and so the pieces shrink by 20% making them much more delicate.

The next stage involved my lovely pliars, happy sigh.

I carefully chose beads representing some of my friends interests like nature, the frog and ladybugs. She is also really into eastern culture hence the chinese seals, plus my interest in her well being.

Anyways, I strung up gold plated headpins with tigerseye and other accents beads.

To wrap them up, hold in your chain nose pliars like so.

Bend the head pin over the top.

Create a loop with your roundnose pliars and then finish by wrapping the tail around underneath the look to make it all lovely and secure.

And so we have bronze charms, gold plated chain and lovely wrapped charm beads on headpins.

I assembled this all with a toggle clasp to make a cluster charm pendant necklace.

I think it makes a pretty stunning piece of statement jewellery with genuine altruistic intent behind its construction.

Anyways my friend seemed pretty non plussed about it which is a shame really. I enjoyed making the piece and hope she enjoys wearing it.

In all honesty recent events have shown me there is not much point in worrying over the smaller things. Perhaps things between her and I will smooth out, perhaps despite the longevity of our friendship it was time to part.

Who knows, I will just keep being creative and offering acts of personal kindness. Living creatively, honestly and expressively, is my mantra and need to keep reaffirming myself with it. I am enjoying sharing tutorials though.

I have lots more ideas for things I would like to make using Bronze clay. I have also seen steel clay and copper clay which sounds intrigueing to me.

I really adore the idea of combining bronze and silver beads in pieces with polymer clay and glass beads that I have constructed, possibly ceramic beads and charms as well.

For now lovely blog followers, take care and catch you soon xx

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Bronze experiments

 So these were actually made last month but I did not have time to upload them and all that shizzle for various reasons.

I was recently featured on Tutorial Tuesday on Geek Crafts :).

It has inspired me to keep trying with my blog and also the fact that people have commented lately and seem interested in my Purky goings on. I hope the blog is not too personal and wonder if it should only focus on my artistic endevours but, my work does not exist in a vacuum. So…..I am gonna keep being personal for now at least.

I love opening up the kiln and peering into the black mass of charcoal to see what I find. Bronze clay is a relatively new thing for me and I am investigating because of its cost effectiveness and warm finish.

I love the patina that firing in charcoal produces. These four are just perching on my kiln, having been fired.

This is the view from my studio window. None of these pieces had been cleaned up and polished by this point.

This is easily my favourite, love a bit of stylised paw action. It also came from one of my eldest moulds. The bronze reduces by around 20% as it fires which means the details are massively enhanced.

So there we go 🙂

I am off to work even though it is Saturday. I have to clean seat pads on white leather chairs for 8 hours now and probably the same again tommorow. I need to earn some money to work out what on earth to do with myself. Its all a bit complicated and excruciatingly simple here at Purky Towers.

Much love to all