Last month I felt like a little squirrel, scurrying about the woods collecting acorns! I found a beautiful double acorn and thought it would make a stunning necklace, here is the make in process!
The Autumn is my favorite time of year, It brings me such inspiration. I love watching the leaves turn delightful amber and russet hues. The abundance of seeds and fruits that the Autumn brings are perfect for making jewellery with too.
As the seasons start to turn, I love going for long walks in the countryside. On one of these walks in the local woodland in Hermitage, I spotted a little double acorn sitting on a twig, and thought how pretty it would be to make into a little necklace.
Work In Progress
The first step in turning this little treasure in to pure silver was to make a cast mould. As I wanted to have a 3d effect I created a double mould using Siligum putty.The Siligum comes in little pots of compound. A white putty and blue putty. when the two are mixed together you can press items in to it before it sets to create little casts.
To make the double mould I blended the two parts together and carefully but firmly placed the double acorns in to the mould. I then repeated this process when the first mould was set to cast the other side of the acorns.
To make the little branch that the acorns would sit on I repeated the process with an oak twig.
Once made the moulds can be reused time and time again for other pieces of jewellery.
I used the brand of clay from FYI ( which stands for - For Your Inspiration) I used the FYI 999 as it has a high shrinkage rate,making it perfect for all of the tiny details in the design. It also takes quite a while to dry which is great when working on such a detailed piece.
Once the moulds were set, I got to work in making the little acorns. I coated the moulds in a little Badger balm so the clay wouldn't stick
I rolled a small ball of clay in to the palm of my hands and sandwiched it in between the moulds to make the acorns.
The next step was to make the little twig for the acorns to sit on.
I rolled the clay in to a little sausage shape, and pressed it in to the mould. I then rolled over the top with my acrylic roller, to create a smooth back. I then popped the clay out of the moulds
I gently laid them in place above the acorns and fixed them in place with paste and a little water around the edges.
I made a little hole in each end of the twig ready for the chain to attach to after firing.
The piece was almost finished but I felt that I needed to add a little something more.
I decided to add two tiny Oak leafs to finish the piece.
I rolled out a small thin piece of clay over a little Oak leaf to make an impression of the leaf in the clay. I then cut around the impression to make two tiny leaves which I attached in place to the twig above the little acorns.
When it was all dry and after a quick sand to smooth any bits that needed it, I fired the piece in my trusty kiln, on a little fire blanket placed on a kiln shelf to protect the back of the design, for 90 minutes at 860 degrees.
Attaching the chain.
When the piece had cooled I attached it on to a Recycled silver 18 inch chain. the chain was cut in two pieces and each piece was then attached to the pendant with a sterling silver jump ring. As the pendant is solid silver I soldered the jump rings closed for extra security.
To make all of the little details really stand out I used a little Liver of Sulphate to darken and highlight the details. When the piece had cooled I gave it a brush with my wire brush and soapy water , before giving it a little bath in Liver of Sulphate to give it that gorgeous aged look in places, especially on the twig. To really highlight the details further and to make the piece sparkle, I polished up the piece using sponge sanding pads and a final shine with a polishing cloth.
The finished piece.
I absolutely loved making this piece, I feel it really embodies my favorite season. I adore the idea of taking a little piece of nature to treasure forever.
I hope you love it too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post, I hope you found it interesting to take a glance into what goes on behind the scenes and of the making process of my work.