Sunday, September 18, 2011

New piece with Klimt Extruder Canes

You may notice  that I am using a sterling silver bail here. Let me tell you why.

Previously I had been making my bails from polymer clay. They were quite lovely and seemed secure. Then I sold a necklace and it arrived broken. The box had not been damaged in any way. I was quite heartbroken over it. I don't make many sales and to have a piece break like that before it was even out of the box felt horrible.

As soon as I learned of it, I went through all of my pieces with polymer bails and tested each one. In every case the bail broke.

Luckily for me, my customer was very understanding and let me make her a new pendant. This time I made it with a sterling silver bail.

The eye pin goes all the way down through the piece. I added an L shape at the bottom of the wire as added security. So in a way, it is a type of armature for the piece. I then made some 16 gauge jump rings and used 2 of them for the cord to go through.

I never, ever want a piece of mine to break. If I ever expect to sell my work, that cannot happen. Jewelry needs to be really sturdy. It gets a lot of wear and tear. Purses pull at it, seat belts tug at it, not to mention people fondling the piece. It has to be able to stand up to some abuse.

I even decided not to make any more polymer toggles. While they look lovely, I am just not going to trust such a stressful point on a piece of jewelry to it. So I have been making sterling silver clasps to go there. I may make some metal clay toggles when the weather gets colder and I can fire up my kiln. I think they would look really pretty AND be sturdy.

I am interested in hearing about what other polymer artists have experienced using polymer bails and clasps.


Cara Jane said...

sorry to hear about your breakage. I have only had once piece returned broken, sold to a friend, it was a bangle. I stopped making bangles in that style as like you I didn't feel I could risk selling another one that might break.

I have made loads of polymer clay bails. I use them on my cabochon pendants. the first one I made I wore myself for a while before making more. They seem very strong and I am happy to sell pendants with them. Made a couple of polymer toggle clasps both of which I reinforced with wire 'just in case' but thought I probably wouldn't bother with in future as they seem very sturdy. Perhaps I will trial that for a while too before making any to sell. i do like to try out new designs myself but it isn't always possible/practical. I use Kato clay and when cured well (see all my cure test results on my blog) it is very strong

Mª Reyes said...

Me encanta. Besos

Galen Pearl said...

This looks very African. I like learning about what you do to make jewelry. What a great craft to know. Always some new technique. Some new design. It never gets old, I imagine.