Be at one with nature with this life like copper leaf pendant. For this project you’ll be using real life leaves, so get your walking boots on and pick the perfect piece!
Before you begin:
When choosing a leaf, choose a leaf that has plenty of texture. Don’t choose a leaf that has a waxy surface.
Making the paste.
Open your pack of creative copper clay and place 12-15g into a small container. Create copper paste like so: carefully add a few drops of water using your paintbrush and cup of water. Mix thoroughly. You need a ‘thick custard’ texture to the paste. Add more water if required. Your paste needs to be thicker than paste made using PMC.
Applying the copper to the leaf.
Using your copper paste apply the paste to one side of the leaf. Apply a full thin covering to the surface of the leaf. Allow the leaf time to dry between layers. Repeat this step at least seven times. You should finish with a minimum of eight layers of thin paste or a minimum thickness of 1mm. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Creating the loop for the pendant.
Create a bail using the remaining copper clay. Use your snake roller to roll out a long thin sausage shape. You can taper this at the ends if you wish. Wrap the long roll of copper around a straw to create your bail shape. Attach to the leaf by placing the copper bail in place on the leaf and apply paste to attach them together. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Refine the edges of your piece using sandpaper until you are happy the piece is complete.
We recommend kiln firing your piece. Place the piece between two kiln pillows. This is to limit the oxidisation during firing and the resultant fire-scale. Fire your piece at 920 Celsius for 30 minutes. You can torch fire the piece:
Fire for at least seven minutes after the binder has burnt off. Once fired, quench immediately to minimise fire-scale. When torch firing, be sure to fire at a higher intensity than with silver metal clays.
The pickling process.
Place the fired Copper in some mixed Picklean solution. Picklean solution is created by mixing one tablespoon of Picklean granules with 200ml of hot/warm water. Leave the copper piece in the solution for ten minutes immediately after firing. After the ten minutes remove the piece from the solution and brush using a brass brush to remove the fire-scale.
Removing the fire scale.
To remove as much of the fire-scale as possible we recommend you tumble your pieces in a tumbler polisher with mixed stainless steel shot, a small amount of warm water and half a teaspoon of Picklean.