Monday, April 19, 2010

Plug those holes!

New bead, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Yesterday I made a lovely bead with metal clay. Last night I fired it and today I thought I would try tumble polishing it. Well, I knew that I was supposed to plug the holes in the bead with pipe cleaners, but my mind was on other things at the time and I forgot. It wasn't until the bead had been in the tumbler for over a half hour when I suddenly remembered! By the time I got to the bead it was loaded with stainless steel pin shot! I was so upset I could barely breathe. My beautiful bead was ruined. Or so I thought. I set it aside and ran a few errands. When I came home the bead was still waiting for me to fix it! I decided to go ahead and patina it with Liver of Sulphur anyway. While I was rinsing and dipping, the shaking seemed to jar some of the pins loose. I was thrilled! I kept shaking and dipping and eventually, the pins started shooting out. I managed to get over 25 pins out but there were still more!

I decided to post my troubles to Facebook and lo and behold another jeweler, Brad Severtson, suggested trying a magnet. Well, I had tried that before but I figured I would try again. Now that so many pins had already fallen out, the magnet worked like a dream. The rest came out easily. Over 35 pins in this one small bead. Amazing. The bead is saved!

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