Cut the metal clay strip. Cut a long, 3/8-in. (9.5-mm) wide strip with a tissue blade [PHOTO 4].
Form the ring band. Wrap the metal clay strip around the mandrel, making sure to center it over the size marks. Use a craft knife to cut the strip where the ends over-lap. Apply syringe-type metal clay to one edge and gently press the two ends together to form a butt-joint [PHOTO 5]. Use a damp, fine-tipped paintbrush to gently smooth the seam.
Apply the basketweave pattern. Place the ribbon-style tip you prepared earlier onto your syringe of metal clay. Using steady pressure, depress the plunger of the syringe and squeeze one vertical stripe along the seam of the band.
Next, squeeze two shorter horizontal stripes across the vertical stripe (see FIGURE 1). Position one horizontal stripe along the top edge of the band; position the second one three-quarters of the way down the band [PHOTO 6].
Squeeze a second vertical stripe crossing the ends of the two short horizontal stripes.
Next, squeeze two more short horizontal stripes across the second vertical stripe, beginning at the edge of the first vertical stripe. Place the first horizontal stripe between the two added in the previous step, and the other along the bottom edge of the ring band [PHOTO 7].
Repeat this process, and alternate spacing for each row, until the entire ring band is covered [PHOTO 8].
Allow the ring to dry completely (See the “Metal Clay Dryness” chart) overnight or in a food dehydrator.
Refine the ring. Place a sheet of 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper on your work surface and gently sand the edges of the ring in a figure-8 or circular motion until they are smooth. Move through progressively finer grits of sandpaper and finish sanding with 2000-grit sandpaper.
Use a folded piece of 2000-grit sand-paper to gently sand the basketweave texture and remove any sharp points.
NOTE: Don’t sand too much or you will remove some of the basketweave pattern.
Use half-round sanding sticks to sand the inside of the ring [PHOTO 9]. Begin with a 600-grit sanding stick and move through progressively finer-grit sanding sticks.
Fire the ring. Set the ring on a kiln shelf and place it inside the kiln. Fire according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the ring to cool completely.
Polish the ring. Once the ring is fired, scrub it with a brass brush and soapy water. For a higher polish, tumble-polish the ring with stainless steel shot and burnishing compound for two or three hours. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.
Patinate the ring. Use liver of sulfur or an oxidizing solution to patinate the ring. Rinse well and dry. Use a polishing cloth to remove as much oxidation as desired from the raised areas of texture.