Silver rings can be made from silver clay, which is precious metal clay. Precious metal clay, which has a putty-like consistency, is a revolutionary material that is a mixture of pure silver or gold in its finest powder form, water, and a non-toxic binder. This type of clay is quite innovative because it allows precious metal jewellery to be formed and moulded into creative and detailed designs without the limitations of traditional jewellery making.
Measure the size of your finger using the ring sizer. Plan to create your ring one size larger than your actual ring size because the clay will shrink about 10 per cent during firing.
Slide the correct size ring sizer (your ring size plus one size) onto the ring mandrel.
Slip a self-adhesive memo note underneath the ring sizer, wrapping it around the mandrel. The memo note will keep the clay from sticking to the mandrel.
Use a pencil to outline where the ring sizer sits atop the memo note.
Remove the ring and apply a small amount of oil to the memo note paper to keep the clay from sticking to it.
Use your fingers to roll the clay into a long rope shape. On a lightly oiled work surface, such as countertop or cutting board, roll the clay to a thickness of about 1 mm (3/64 inch).
Pick up the rope of clay and gently form it around the mandrel over the sticky memo.
Use the palette knife to cut off any excess clay where the ends meet, and press the two ends of the clay together to join them. Trim the edges of the clay to create smooth edges for the finished ring.
Allow the ring to dry naturally or use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
Remove the clay ring from the mandrel when it is completely dry and feels firm. Remove the memo note paper from inside the clay by gently pulling it away.
Use the half-round file to shape the edges and smooth the inside seam of the clay.
Smooth the surface of the clay ring with sandpaper.
Place the clay on a heat resistant surface and ignite the torch.
Hold the torch at a 45 degree angle to the ring about 10 cm (4 inches) away from it. The ring should begin to discolour and produce a small flame after about 30 seconds.
Continue to fire the clay until the ring gives off a slight orange glow, which should take between 3 and 5 minutes.
Pick the ring up with tweezers and submerse it in cool water.
Polish the completely cooled ring with the stainless steel brush until all white residue is gone and the surface is shiny.
Use the palette knife to form grooves, ridges and decorations on the surface of the clay before you fire it for a more customised ring.
Stop firing the ring immediately if the ring begins to curl, glow brightly or look liquid. Over-firing the ring can cause it to loose its shape and detail.
Things you need
- Ring sizer
- Ring mandrel
- Self-adhesive memo note
- Silver precious metal clay (Silver PMC)
- Palette knife
- Hairdryer (optional)
- Half-round file
- Heat resistant surface
- Blow torch
- Cool water
- Stainless steel brush