Make Your Mark!

Monogram {lowercase} Charms - as my first blog posting I decided to just write about what i have been up to these last few days of summer. playing with clay! it has long been my passion to create my own line of charms, completely hand crafted and forged in my own studio and made available to crafters for their jewelry making endeavors. the last few months i have been "playing with fire" using a hot pot as i melt pewter and watch it flow, create molds and see if i can re-create designs i love. one of my favorites is the lowercase letters of that old fashioned device called a "typewriter" ! i bought a lowercase set of rubber stamps and decided i would attempt to make them into metal charms. first, i roll my clay and press it with a wooden dowel. i try to get that organic look and feel of clay as it cracks and breaks along the edges, then press my letter stamp into it, rocking it gently back and forth to get a deep impression. yesterday i got through half of the alphabet. here they are ready for baking until they are hardened. next, i create a silicone mold using a two-part putty, pressing the baked clay piece into it firmly and allowing it to set up. after the silicone is set, i coat it in talcum powder then heat my pewter for pouring. i learned through trial and error that the silicone is much cooler than the molten pewter and was causing the metal to cool too quickly, and it was sinking into the middle leaving an air bubble. now i heat the silicone mold first on a warming plate before pouring the pewter which allows the metal to cool at an even pace and smooth finish. a bit of oxidizing, sanding, filing, polishing and tumbling and ta-da! here is the finished piece! a sweet little charm that makes it's mark!

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