In the Studio with Kat

19 Jan

I’m in the process of making a heart-shaped box with hearts cut out of the sides and a peek hole on the top, where you will see a stone in a setting and dozens of tiny little hearts.  I’m working with PMC3, so the entire piece (except for the stone!) will be fine silver.

I also made some baby snails from the two-part mold I made a couple of months ago.  Didn’t get to play with it until now because I was working so much on a commission piece.

At this point the snails have reached the leather hard stage, and the box bottom and top are well on their way.  Once everything is bone dry, I’ll start the fine hand-finishing before everything gets popped into the kiln and then into the tumbler.  From there it’s just a stone’s throw to get them into the boutique in time for Valentine’s Day.

On My Plate

I made a tool roll to bring some order to tools I use regularly or else would have a tendency to disappear:

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  1. Distilled water in a very fine spray bottle to keep clay from getting too dry and forming cracks.
  2. Cool Slip from Cool Tools to keep the clay from sticking to anything.  I also have olive oil on hand in a pump dispenser, but the Cool Slip seems to work better for me.
  3. My ancient polymer clay acrylic roller.  Because I use freezer paper under my work surface and folded over the clay (waxy side facing), I don’t have to worry about cross contamination.
  4. Ring making molds from Metal Clays; haven’t used them yet.
  5. Clay keeper from Art Clay World holds a sponge in a perforated well to keep clay from dry out.
  6. Bezel making molds from Metal Clays; they work great.
  7. Buffing board.
  8. Very fine-point clay pick from Cool Tools.
  9. Paint brushes; small to smooth and add water, big to sweep away dusting debris.
  10. Slat set to assure even rolling of clay from Metal Clay Supply.
  11. Stiff brush for removing clay dust from filing tools and a soft head toothbrush to clean up.
  12. A double-ended spatula and clay pick with wood handle.
  13. Smoothies from Cool Tools.  These files shape and remove clay easily in the leather hard and bone dry stages, and they look like emery boards; they come in fine, medium and coarse grits.
  14. A stylus with interchangeable heads in a storage tube.
  15. Agate burnisher.
  16. Tissue blades.
  17. Stainless steel burnisher.
  18. Bezel roller.
  19. Bead reamer.
  20. Pipette for siphoning distilled water from my gallon jug.
  21. Metal scraper (how I lived without this I do not know; it slices and scrapes and lifts and moves clay; love it!) from Art Clay World.
  22. QuikArt stylus from Metal Clay Supply; it’s like a hair fine needle or pin on a stick to use with templates; love it!
  23. Bent nose tweezers.
  24. Straws and other things to make holes or divots in clay.

These are only a few of my “tools of the trade”.  I have more cool tools and I’ll try to show them sometime in the future.  These just happen to have a new home.

What are your favorite metal clay tools?diamondsign

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