Thursday, May 7, 2009

My favourite metal clay tools - Part Three - fired metal clay stage

The third part of my favourite tools series is about a tool that I use once the silver has been fired.

Sometimes I like a highly polished and mirror finish on my pieces - for example with my frog necklace, I felt that should be polished and shiny as frogs are wet and so shiny too! However, the finish I actually prefer myself is a soft polished finish. I think that a lot of that decision is based on the fact that my pieces are rounded and soft shapes and thus having a soft finish tends to seem integral to the design - like soft, cuddly, birds and bunny rabbits.......

So once the piece comes out of the kiln, I sand and polish as necessary until there aren't any lumps, bumps, scratches and stuff and then the piece is looking shiny. But then I get to use my favourite tool and take that shine off, replacing it with a soft brushed look. The tool I use is a fibre/ fiber wheel that you can buy from Rio Grande. It fits into a rotary tool and just brushes away that shine to give that soft look that I love.

Sometime people request the shiny look as it's what is more commonly associated with silver - and I'm happy to do that - but I like the soft approach best!

What is your favorite finishing tool?

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