Still feeling really awful with this head-cold, so decided to do a little light sorting out to start the day off gently. I found a box of nail varnishes, old “The Crow” film cards (still my favourite film, even now) and some other odds and ends. Right at the bottom was a small fired PMC charm I had made as a test piece when trying out water etching for the first time.
This technique is used to remove areas of “green” PMC (dried but not fired) to mimic acid etching but without the use of dangerous chemicals. A resist is applied to the areas that you want to keep and then, using water and a sponge, the exposed areas are wiped away – leaving a lower surface that you can enamel or colour and fill with resin (or even coat with gold!). There is a great explanation of this technique by CeCe Wire in a book called “Precious Metal Clay Techniques“.
The design on the charm was a cat looking up at the moon, and I had used nail varnish as the resist medium. It had worked well, but as the charm had been so small (I’m very mean when it comes to trying out ideas with expensive materials!), the picture had suffered somewhat by the fine detail being rounded off by the process of wiping away. After firing (the resist is burned away), the charm had been finished off with layers of UV resin tinted blue (shaded darker around the shapes).
I found a partially wire-wrapped scroll shape (about 5cm long) which I did have plans for, but had never got around doing anything with. This would be the main body of the pendant. Firstly, I soldered the wire-wrapping to make it more durable and also to join the two scrolls to the middle wire more securely. A o.8mm round wire was also soldered to the middle at the back. When soldering thin wire, it is very easy to overheat the wire and have it melt (especially if your head isn’t feeling like it still belongs to you and you keep on sneezing!) – which is exactly what happened here. One end of the wire thinned in the middle as it overheated. But no need to panic. I just heated the wire again (very gently this time!) and added some easy solder to the area which had thinned. Any extra solder was filed away after quenching and the wire was once again 0.8mm and round.
After a short dip in the pickle to get rid of any fire-stain, I gave the wire-wrapped piece a sand and polish with my silicon wheels and polishing cylinders with my hand-held rotary drill. Then I added Swarovski® crystals in Sapphire and Light Sapphire 2xAB, as well as silver beads in-between, to both top and bottom wires. The wires were then wrapped around the main piece and loops created for the bail at the top and the charm at the bottom. I curved the wires holding the crystals to compliment the curves of the main form. I added the charm at the bottom and here’s the finished article: