Saturday, 9 February 2013

A New Technique, Eggs and Sore Hands.

So there I was, ready to get my new ‘Primrose’ range underway, when a new technique caught my eye. First I had to find out what it was called …apparently Balinese Filigree…then work out how to do it.

My extruder fell apart, very disappointing when I consider what I paid for it, but lucky me, my partner bought me TWO (doesn’t he trust me?) new ones. These are simple push-through syringe type extruders, but seem to be solid enough. So to begin my dabble in filigree.

Oh boy! My old extruder had a screw handle which made it quite easy to extrude the clay, these take a fair bit of strength and patience to push the clay through these manually. But I got there in the end, managing to push out enough thin snakes of clay to roll into spirals.

Here is the result of my first experiment. Worked quite well I think. 

Now, I’d always intended blowing and covering eggs ready for Easter for some time, and the shells have been drying out in the airing cupboard for a few weeks, and here was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. So I covered an egg in my spirals. It’s far from perfect, I held it too tight at some stages and flattened some of the spirals, but I’m already working on how to avoid this, but all in all I’m pleased with my first effort. As with anything, the first one is to find out what can go wrong and why, not much did except hand pressure, so I can work on that and hopefully the next one will be saleable.

Meanwhile, as mentioned in the previous post, I also did a bit of dabbling in metal leaf surface treatments, and came up with this gorgeous necklace in purple and orange, with the copper leaf on the surface. It’s easy to get the effect, simply roll out some clay on the thickest setting of the pasta machine, lay some metal leaf, I used copper for this one, and gently smooth down, then roll it one way on the second thickest setting, and again the other way on the third thickest. Voila! You have this amazing shining crackled effect.  I’d also made some matching earrings, but as I make a thin tile first, bake, then add the backing after, in this instance I’d trapped just a little bit of air under one, and when that air expanded during the curing, it made a couple of bubbles in the original tile. It’s a shame because the other earring was perfect! It happens.

When I was talking about polymer clay to a friend of mine, she wondered what a cane was. I tried my best to say it's a little bit like a stick of Blackpool Rock, with the design running through it, but she couldn't envisage how it could be made, so maybe next week I'll post a new rose cane as I make it, then perhaps it'll be clearer. It's really not that difficult if you take your time, don't rush it, and the art is in the reduction of the cane, while keeping the perspective of the pattern inside, which can so easily be distorted by rushing the reduction. You'll see next week..


  1. Fantastic work! The eggs are a great idea - could you sell the first egg as a second? I really like the effect on the necklace.

  2. I guess I could, but then it's my first one so I might like to keep it anyway hehe. It does work well doesn't it? Next week I'll be working on another one.

  3. The egg looks brilliant, well done.


  4. Thanks Linda, I'm quite pleased with it. I need to get some stands now and I'll start full production, as himself has blown 6 more. We've eaten lots of omelettes haha