If one of the goals in life is to learn from one’s mistakes, I’m sure getting one hell of an education!
I succeeded in re-setting the bottom stone today. It fired well and I was able to smooth out the transition lines on the front of the piece and bring up a mirror shine.
You can see The Big Squeeze at work in the back as the shrinking clay drew inward:
I’m getting a chance to fill in that tiny trough, though, because just as I was finishing the hand filing, sanding and burnishing, and looking forward to finally buffing both pieces to completion, the embedded screw eye at the top of the earring broke off.
Why? Well, why the hell not?! I’ve handled this piece so much, the delicate ring finally was bent a little too often and, like the TV show, it Snapped. I drilled a small hole using my needle files, filled it with clay mixed with lavender, and stuck the baby back in. Once it dries I’ll tidy it up, I’ll tidy the back up, and back into the kiln it will go for the third time. Then I will get to hand file, sand and burnish the whole thing again because firing raises the grain and the piece comes out looking like it’s covered in silvery chalk.
With everything I’ve learned so far, I could probably rebuild the entire Colosseum using metal clay…I’m going to need a pretty huge kiln, though! And my electric bill? Gak!
Don’t you just hate those electric bill hair balls?