01 May 2010

new post-setting technique!



my dear friend barb said it could be done, but i was skeptical!
i really don't care for figuring out how to neatly embed bent-up pearl-posts into pendants and rings. it always looks thick, bumpity and awkward (at least mine do!). so i thought maybe i could ball up the ends of fine silver wire, drill holes through the piece, and then run the balled-up wire through a bit of wet metal clay and the tiny hole. then the little bally would just be a decorative element on the back...and VOILA! it worked! the metal clay shrunk up around the wire posts and they're sturdy as can be! this opens up a WORLD of possibilities....

5 comments:

Barbara said...

OOOooooo La La! I can't WAIT to see this finished piece!!!!
Wow, that really worked out well. Now I want to try it for something...

Here's a trick you might remember from last summer's conference. It's one of those tidbits (again, I forget who said it) that I use a lot:
When I have imbedded wire for earring posts in fired PMC, or when I want to work harden regular ear posts after I solder them on an earring, I take flat needle nose pliers, grasp the post gently and twist the pliers around the post a few times. If you clamp onto the post too firmly you'll twist it off - but you want to grasp it just enough to be moving metal against metal. It burnishes the post and hardens it. (It also tests the strength of the solder connection. If its a good connection, this way of burnishing shouldn't cause it to break off.)
Well, you have just really inspired me to GOMA and get to work in the studio. Thanks!

holly k said...

uuuuummmmm....how do you twist the pliers around the post without twisting it off? are you pinching the post, or just rubbing up against it with the pliers?

Barbara said...

You're right. You are basically rubbing the pliers around the post. Like if you were trying to "polish" it with the pliers. Metal to metal like the steel shot in the tumbler.
(Just don't grab the post so hard that the pliers can't move w/out twisting it off. You won't be a happy camper!)
Then again, maybe the tumbler will harden it enough. Hmmm.....

holly k said...

usually, i nip them so short to accommodate the pearl that they can barely bend anyway....that plier trick sounds scary to me....i'll try it out with something else first...

Barbara said...

Yeah, I wasn't thinking about how short the posts would be for pearls. I was thinking more about embedded wires for earring posts.
Can't wait to see it with the pearls!