Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Creative Process - Sgraffito Studs

I wanted to create something within the collection which was at the lower end of the price scale. I thought that ear studs would be a good idea. Many customers like smaller pieces which cost less, but they still feel like they are getting a piece of your work. 

I cut out some very small discs from copper sheet, and domed them. 
I then them a coat of black liquid enamel and fired. 
I then gave them a coat of white liquid enamel and waited for this to dry. I then used a sharp tool to scratch into the white enamel and reveal a design in the black and fired. 

Initially I wanted to create bezels which were similar to the rings I had made previously, but when I came to set the enamel in them I found it very difficult on such a small item. 
So I had a re-think of the design. 

I decided that the best option would be to set them with a rub over setting. I cut strips from silver sheet, shaped these around the domed pieces and soldered them to their bases. I then soldered on an ear post and then set the domes in the bezels. I used a pusher to push the edges over the domes and then finished them with a burnisher. 

Despite having to go back and re-think the bezels, I feel that these studs came out well. I've never worked on such a small scale before, and there were difficulties with that. I was very worried that they would melt away in the kiln, and it was very hard to find a trivet to support them while they were being fired. I've always thought that little pieces like these are a good thing to have in a collection, they are a simple piece for someone who perhaps doesn't wear a lot of jewellery. 

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