Draping jigs

Today I made some wire jigs on which to drape metal clay. I just learned this technique from Fred Woell’s workshop last weekend. The idea is that metal clay, draped over metal (in this case the wire), will dry quickly and release easily when the supporting piece of metal is heated. Draping the wet clay allows for some interesting shapes to be made into beads.

PMC shapes drying on an electric cup warmer.

Hollow beads ready to be fired in the kiln.

I had planned for such a long studio day today, but it took me forever to get settled into work. Some days are just like that. I finally got around to it after catching up on some reading and taking a little nap. The sun came out for a while this afternoon so I also went for a low tide walk on the beach while the temperature was still around 40º.  Considering how unfocused I felt, I was actually happy with what I accomplished.

The temperature is already down to 15º and I will set my alarm to wake up and add wood to the wood stove. Bruce usually wakes up at some point every night and refills the wood stove, but tonight he is away. Tonight is also supposed to be a good night for Northern Lights, with all of the recent solar flare activity. So far, there is nothing but a lot of stars in the sky. (Which is pretty special in itself and I never get tired of seeing the stars here. ) I’ll be checking the sky again when I get up to put wood in the stove. If there is anything going on, aurora borealis-wise, it will be worth it to bundle up and go out to see it.


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7 responses to “Draping jigs

  1. good morning…..any aurora borealis?
    love those puffy beads-one looks like a pierogie! what kind of wire is that that you used for the draping forms?


    • Barb Fernald

      No A.B. Just clear skies and cold wind. Alas.
      The wire I had on hand was brass, but in Fred’s class we used copper. I don’t think it matters as long as it conducts heat to the metal clay. I’m going to try more today.


  2. Hi Barb – just love your blog! Sounds like a wonderful day and I can’t wait to see what the beads turn out to look like!


  3. LeAnn

    I love those shapes. So fluid. I may try something like this in bronze.


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks LeAnn. They are really fun to make since there is a little bit of a surprise element to them. I’ll be getting to the end of my silver clay today, I think. Then, bring on the bronze!


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