Leaf pattern pendants are always popular, as being simple and elegant they can be worn for a variety of occasions, if not every day. The leaf pendant is made using silver clay paste. So here is Silver Clay Leaf Pendant.
We will make a fine silver leaf pendant with a perfect replica of a real leaf in solid silver that you can wear. You can choose a leaf but please note that not every leaf is suitable for making this kind of silver pendant. Among the bests are ivy, rose leaves. At the end of the day, you will have a beautiful piece of silver pendant hand made by you.
Read on to see the step-by-step guide:
Your Guide to Silver Leaf Pendant
Materials and Tools list:
- Art Clay Silver 10g paste
- Silver embeddable bail
- Ultra Polishing Pads Pack of 20
- Emery Stick Half Round 2000 Grit Fine
- Wooden Handle Brass Brush 4 Row
- Patina Dry Form Liver Of Sulphur Un1847
- Burnisher, Curved With Handle
- Small paintbrush
- Small bowl or cup
- Cotton bud
Step #1 Choose your Leaf
Choose a fairly sturdy leaf that has lots of texture – herb leaves like mint or sage are good. In this project, we’ve used a dead nettle leaf.
Try not to use leaves that are too hairy, thin, or furry.
Tip: If you place some grease-proof paper on top of your work surface, any silver paste that misses the leaf and goes onto the paper can be easily ground up once it’s dry as it will slide off the paper easily; it can then be turned back into a paste.
Step #2 Coat the Leaf with Diluted Paste
If your leaf has a stalk, you can leave this intact at this point as can be helpful to be able to hold your leaf by the stalk for the initial stages.
Begin by fully coating the back of your chosen leaf with diluted paste.
The easiest way to dilute the paste is to load your paintbrush with water before dipping it into the paste pot.
Let this first layer dry thoroughly before adding a second diluted layer of paste. Again, allow drying thoroughly.
You could use a hairdryer or heat gun to dry each layer more quickly but you do run the risk of your leaf blowing away!
This beautiful jewelry piece was air-dried for a few hours in between each layer.
Step #3 Applying Undiluted Paste
Now you can apply the undiluted paste for the next two layers. Dry thoroughly between adding each layer.
Step #4 Embed your Bail
If your leaf stalk is still intact (sometimes they fall off naturally), carefully snip it off as close to the main leaf as you can.
Apply a fairly thick blob of undiluted paste in the place where you’d like to embed your bail.
This next bit is a bit fiddly and slightly messy, but don’t worry if it takes you a couple of tries!
Place the bail into the blob of paste and then hold the bail in place for about a minute.
This will allow the silver clay paste to start to dry around the bail.
Step #5 Cover the Embeddable Part with Paste
Carefully place the pendant back onto your work surface and gently cover the embeddable part with paste.
Allow drying thoroughly.
Continue to add undiluted paste layers, incorporating the bail, until the pendant is around 1mm thick – you shouldn’t be able to see any leaf texture at all.
Remember to dry thoroughly between each layer.
Step #6 Clean the Leaf and Fire
Once your pendant is dry, use a damp cotton bud to very gently remove any silver paste which is on top of the leaf.
Use the emery stick to file any sharp points and redefine the leaf edges if they have been lost a little.
Fire the pendant using your chosen method. This pendant was fired in a Prometheus Mini Kiln Pro-1 With Digital Controller at 665°C for 45 minutes.
You could also fire using a blowtorch or a gas stove.
Step #7 Brush the Leaf Pendant
When cool, brush all over the pendant with the brass brush – it’s always a magical moment when you see that first shine of the silver!
Polish the pendant with a polishing pad to really start to get a good shine.
Step #8 Use Solution to Enhance the Leaf
You could leave the pendant as it is at this point, or if you’d like to bring out more detail, make up a solution of Liver Of Sulphur and warm water by following the instructions on the packaging carefully.
Warning: it does not smell nice!
You can either paint the front of the pendant with the solution or immerse the whole pendant.
The pendant will begin to patina; when the recesses of the leaf veins are fairly dark, rinse the silver leaf pendant in clean water.
Step #9 Polish the Leaf Again
Polish the pendant again with a polishing pad to remove the surface patina – the leaf vein recesses will remain dark, and you will be left with a highly detailed silver leaf.
Step #10 Rub the Leaf with Burnishing Tool
Finally, rub over the surface of your silver clay leaf with the burnishing tool, taking care not to scratch the surface.
This will really make your leaf sparkle.
Step #11 Finished Piece Image
And you’re done! Add a silver chain and enjoy your new pendant! Silver Clay Leaf Pendant.
P.S. Royi Sal Jewelry, as a decades-long leader in silver jewelry design and manufacturing, invites you to download our latest magazine here and profit from the exceptional jewelry designs at affordable prices you will find in the magazine. Click here to download it now.