Metal clay can be shaped over objects when wet to allow dimension and interest. It is a basic technique. Beginners projects often include doming clay make convex or concave pieces This is easy to do as long as you work quick enough (a skill that improves with practice). The key to successfully shaping a piece of metal clay is to shape before it starts to dry (if working with silver clay this means as soon as possible). Once the clay begins to dry it is more likely to crack or even break; especially if you force it. My favorite object to use to obtain convex or concave pieces is to use a plastic paint palette. The piece pictured above was made from two concave pieces that after they were dried were joined to make a lentil shape.
There many objects you can use: a light bulb, a Styrofoam ball, or even an orange or egg.
- Remember to apply a bit of oil to the surface so that there is reduced risk of it sticking.
- Cut your shape and quickly drape it over or into (in the case of a paint palette).
- Once on/in the form let the clay dry until firm the gently remove it.
There are many things around your home that you can use to help shape your clay. When it took Hadar Jacobson's class recently she shared some the things she uses; one of them being a contact lens container. Since then I have new and interesting things. I just noticed the "Chicklet" shaped gum packaging could provide interesting material for shaping.
Next week, I will share a project making a pair of domed earrings. Stay tuned.