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Hollow form metal clay pendant

Rethink metal clay construction techniques and build this four-sided pendant using forethought and a 3-D template.

Hollow metal clay forms are typically built over organic cores like wood clay or cork clay. When the clay is fired in a kiln, these organic cores burn to ash. My hollow metal clay pendant is different, because it’s made without a core. It goes into the kiln hollow, so it comes out of the kiln without the telltale rattle of residual core ash.

Careful construction is the secret. You’ll subtly texture each of the pendant’s metal clay panels, then transfer them to a 3-D polymer clay “template,” or form, to dry. By drying each panel on the same 3-D form, the panels will have the same shape, making it easier for you to assemble them precisely to make the bud shape. I used embellishments and a sophisticated bail design to accentuate the pendant’s elegant lines. Each of the pendant’s four sides is textured with a different pattern. 

SUPPLIES

  • Template (you can print from the PDF)
  • Metal clay: 50 g
  • Metal clay slip
  • Cardstock
  • Polymer clay: 25 g
  • Glycerin
  • Drafting template (optional)

You'll also find our TOOLBOX for metal clay an invaluable resource for all the tools you'll need to finish your project.

Hollow form metal clay pendant 01
photo 1a
Hollow form metal clay pendant 02
photo 1b
Part One: Preparation

BUD MODEL

Make five templates. Print and cut out the master template (on the PDF). Trace this master template [PHOTO 1A] four times onto cardstock, and then cut out the cardstock panels.

Make a bud-form model. Using clear tape, join the four panels to make a bud model [PHOTO 1B]. 

Hollow form metal clay pendant 03
photo 2

POLYMER CLAY SUPPORT You’ll use the bud model as a support to form a polymer clay panel, which is your 3-D template. Later, you’ll dry four metal clay panels on the polymer panel.

Make a sheet of polymer clay. Condition polymer clay, and run it through a pasta machine set to a medium thickness to make a sheet that’s about 1 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2 in. (32 x 64 mm). 

Make a polymer clay panel. Lay the master template on the polymer clay sheet. Using a craft knife, carefully cut around the template to make a petal-shaped panel. Set the bud model on a ceramic baking tile. Carefully transfer the polymer clay panel to the model, laying it on one side of the model [PHOTO 2]. 

Bake the panel. Place the tile with the model and polymer clay panel clay-side up into your toaster oven. Bake according to the polymer clay manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the assembly from the oven, and allow the polymer clay panel to cool completely. Remove the panel from the model. 

For the rest of this project and more valuable tips on working with metal clay, please download the PDF

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