I always have leftover clay after I cut the templates for my soft slab functional ware. I reclaim the clay to use again, but before I do, I use as much as I can for other creations. That's where the PENDANTS came in.
Here are my 10 steps to creating a Pendant Necklace:
The clay is first gradually flattened using a slab roller and then further thinned out and compressed to align the clay particles, remove the canvas texture and to make the pendant as light as possible.
I add textures to the top using either a hand carved linoblock or handmade ceramic stamp of my own design. I plan to make double sided pendants this Spring.
I either cut the shape of the pendant by hand or use a cutter with thin plastic to curve the edges.
After they firm up, I cut the hole for the clasps or strapping and clean the edges to ensure a smooth result.
The pendants are laid between two drywall boards to keep them flat while drying. Once dry, they are then bisqued in the kiln where they turn from clay to ceramics.
They are sanded again to make them super smooth against your skin. I do this outdoors and with a mask to protect the lungs of everyone in my family.
The next stage is the glazing which allows me to explore my collections of interesting glazes. Glaze is painted in two to three layers on one side only, otherwise, the glaze would stick to the kiln shelves. While the glaze is drying I use a pipe cleaner to ensure that the hole is clear of glaze.
When the pendants are ready I put them in the kiln again to complete their firing process. Opening the kiln after this, is like opening a surprise gift because I have yet to have completely expected results.
One more round of sanding and cleaning just to make sure they are perfect and dust free.
The jewelry findings such as clasps, beads and strappings are then connected. When I remember to do so, they are photographed and then packaged for my clients and customers. That's really many more steps than one and surprisingly time consuming but very meditative.