The piece of jewellery in focus is a pair of beautiful earrings comprising of a glass element and a polymer clay element. Most of the techniques involved in making these earrings are employed by hand so it needs the artistic and creative skills of the jewellery maker to execute the processes in order to produce a masterpiece of an ornament.
POLYMER CLAY ELEMENT
The advantage of polymer clay as a crafting medium is that it can be moulded into any shape and becomes hard when baked. The sequence of the process is:
- Mixing colours
One can choose a variety of different colours of polymer clay that can be mixed to achieve a beautiful desired blend of coloured earrings. Small pieces of clay are combined together and then moulded into a dough-like form.
The clay is first rolled flat using a rolling pin. Then the desired shapes of the earring detail are moulded and crafted by the use of a template. The template is placed onto the clay, cut around the shape and any rough edges removed. A sewing needle is then used to pierce holes onto the pieces where any metal attachments will go through.
The pieces are then baked in a kiln with an appropriate temperature for that specific polymer clay brand.
After baking, the pieces are left to cool and the earrings are put together by inserting the hook and any other elements.
The glass component of the earrings is made through a sequence of handmade techniques;
- Shaping and beveling
The piece of glass is placed over a burner held by a pair of tweezers or any other tool so that it can be shaped easily. After some shaping, the rough edges are beveled to achieve a smooth piece.
Grinding techniques that can be used on the glass element include metal grinding or angle grinding. Other process options in glass grinding include but not limited to contour, edge, precision, surface, cylindrical and optical grinding. These techniques are aimed at providing perfect, refined and smooth edges.
- Polishing and finishing
These techniques are applied to increase the aesthetic look and feel of the glass. Polishing can be achieved by painting and coating using precious metals like platinum or gold. Decorating the glass can also be done using fillings obtained during grinding.
With these handmade techniques coupled with the finesse of the crafter, a beautiful set of earrings would ultimately be in the making that would definitely be a valuable adornment for the fashion conscious woman.