Integrating Pottery and Silversmithing

Having started in clay I can't ever wander too far from it. It calls to me when I have been neglectful. I have been looking for a way to integrate my love of pottery and jewelry that expresses my style. I think I have captured that with these pendants. These little colorful gems are a labor of love.

I start with raw terracotta clay and form a tile. That tile once dried has to sanded to make sure it will fit into a bezel. Then it goes into the kiln for the first firing. Once fired each little tile is glazed with three coats of white base glaze and sanded with fine steel wool. Then the fun part begins. The tile is then hand painted with majolica glazes in the traditional method of over glazing, before going into the kiln for the second firing. After the terracotta tile is cooled from the kiln, I hand fit and solder a fine silver bezel to a sterling silver backing individually for each tile because as they are hand formed they all are varying in shape. This is a labor intensive process and requires many steps in fitting, soldering, pickling, filing, sawing and polishing the silver setting. Once the setting has been finished and polished the tile is set and the bezel is rolled over the tile and set as a gemstone is set. There is no glue used to hold it into place only jewelry fabrication techniques.


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