Creating Custom art work such as jewlery is one of the many fun things that we get to do at Studio 12. We recently had the opportunity to make 50 pendants for local chapter of GO FAR, a comprehensive fitness program initiated to help combat childhood obesity.
GO FAR Development Director Samantha Brown, was familiar with my work and in fact owns one of my silver and clay pieces of jewelry. ” I love my tree pendant” she told me, and wondered if I could make a similar piece of jewelry for the GO FAR coaches, and so the design process began.
I love creating custom pieces of jewlery and I thought it would be especially rewarding to design and make a pieces for an organization that is doing so much for young people. To begin the process Samantha and I put our heads together to talk abut the design and the budget that she had to work with. We decided on a 1″ square pendant that would have a sterling plated bail. I decided to work with earthenware clay as a base and fine silver as accents in order to achieve the look we wanted and stay within GO FAR’s budget.
To begin I worked with a lump of clay and began molding it into the shape of the Go FAR logo. After I got the look I wanted I then made several more pieces all with the same shape and design. Then working with plaster I created a mold. This allowed me to be able to create the 50 pendants needed and have them be fairly uniform as well as meet the timeline of having them done in one month.
Once all the pieces were made in clay they were dried and then cleaned to get rid of any rough edges and then signed. The next step was bisque firing, this means putting the clay in a kiln and firing until the clay hardens.
After all the pieces were bisqued it was time to apply the colored glaze. The GO FAR logo is green and blue so we chose to work withthose colors and each pieces was hand painted with the two hues, applying 2 coats to each piece. Then the pendants went back in the kiln for their glaze firing. When they emerged about 20 hours later they were shiny and ready for the silver application, which is again applied by hand and then put into the kiln and fired for one last time.
The last steps involve scratch brushing the silver to make it smooth and shiny and then applying the silver plated bail which is attached with a hardy glue. After the glue sets the pieces are cleaned one more time and given a final inspection while being boxed and ready to give!
To see more of Carolyn’s Silver and Clay jewelry check out the Studio 12 website where you will also fine work in clay and glass fusion. Contact Carolyn if you would like a piece of custom jewlery for your organization.
GO FAR Is a non profit organization designed for children with all abilities to promote healthy eating habits and good character as well as a curriculum that teaches children and how to set goals, reach goals and successfully and safely complete a 5K run or walk/run. The GO FAR program started in 2003, by Robin Lindsay, Physician Assistant in one NC school with 16 children and now has grown to reach over 4000 children annually.