- Donut-shaped bisque bead: 40 mm (1 9/16-in.) outside diameter, 10 mm (3/8-in.) inside diameter
- Fine-silver metal clay:
- Low-fire paste: less than 10 g
- Low-fire lump: 10 g
- Low-fire syringe: less than 5 g
- Metal clay paper: less than 10 g
- Lavender oil paste (optional)
- Baby wipes
- Sanding tray
- Stainless steel clay extruder, 5.5 mm (3/16-in.) round disk, 3 mm (1/8-in.) hollow-core adapter disk
- Acrylic snake roller (optional)
- Rigid nail file: 180 grit
- Paper punches: floral patterns
- Fiber blanket
- Butane torch (optional)
- Baking soda
Using a donut-shaped bisque bead as the base of this pendant allows you to create a substantial pendant without the cost and weight associated with solid silver. Bisque beads come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they allow you to work large while keeping your costs down. You’ll apply base layers of metal clay paste on the bisque bead, extrude a tube for the bail, and embellish the surface of the pendant with metal clay paper and syringe elements.
The crisp floral appliqué designs on the pendant are made using a paper-punch designed for scrapbooking. I used floral-shape punches for my design, but you can use any shapes you want; these punches are available in many shapes, giving you the opportunity to create a variety of patterns.
Prepare the bisque bead. Sand the surface of a donut-shaped bisque bead with a small piece of 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove any irregularities. Once the bisque bead is smooth, clean it with a baby wipe, or wash it under running water to remove any dust left from sanding. Let the bead dry completely. Use this sandpaper only for sanding the bisque bead, and throw it away when you are finished to prevent the bisque dust from mixing with the metal clay.
NOTE: Each bisque bead is different; if the surface of the bead is pitted or scratched, sand it with 200- or 400-grit sandpaper, and move through progressively finer grits until you reach 600-grit.
Prepare your work surface and tools. Lightly coat your hands, flexible Teflon sheet, tissue blade, the inside of a clean stainless steel extruder barrel, the head of the extruder’s plunger, and the 5.5 mm (3/16-in) round extruder disk and 3 mm (1/8-in.) hollow-core extruder disk with olive oil or natural hand balm.