Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Silver Clay and Doming punches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

    Question Silver Clay and Doming punches

    Hi everyone, I'm after a bit of advice as I'd like to buy a Doming punch to shape little silver clay flowers, as I'm having problems getting uniform shapes drying my clay over Doming moulds. Should I buy a steel or wooden block and punches? I understand steel blocks can mark the silver, whereas wooden blocks are softer and won't, is this true? Does anyone have any experience with metal clay and Doming blocks?
    Also, I can only seem to find larger wooden blocks and punches, and no tiny ones, can anyone help?!
    Many thanks!
    Charlotte

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,357

    Default

    I have no idea whether you can dome fired clay, but for safely doming textured sterling, the best compromise is a brass doming block used with wooden punches and a soft hammer, such as hide, resin, or wood.

    However if you are set on a wooden doming block, there is plenty of room near the corners to make small dish shapes with a variety of ball burrs. For small punches, thin sticks or dowels can easily be cut to size and filed round at the ends. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 19-11-2015 at 10:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,351

    Default

    I've not used clay often but would you not be forming the clay before firing therefore in its soft clay form rather than doming into fired clay which like Dennis I'm not sure you can do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Silver clay fired long and hot (900 deg C for 2 hours) yields fine silver that can be shaped using doming punches, just like fine silver in sheet form.
    However, as fine silver is softer than sterling silver, using a wooden doming block and punch is advisable on textured pieces to prevent distortion of the texture.
    Last edited by vsilvered; 20-11-2015 at 01:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Have you thought about custom-making your own domes and other shapes using poymorph? See recent thread:
    http://www.cooksongold.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7277
    I imagine it would be good for forming the unfired clay as well as for finished pieces.

    Alan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I also think it would be much better to form them before firing, easy done and you don't need to do the extra work of doming after firing, which will be quite fiddly with small shapes.

    You could drill large holes in a piece of wood that can hold small balls the size of the domes you want (you could glue them in place if they move too much perhaps, the balls that is!), then dry the clay onto those, and then fire the silver domes on a fibre blanket.
    Carin Lindberg

    Camali Design
    www.camalidesign.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks so much everyone!

    I have been drying my unfired clay over domed moulds but my little flowers always end up with different amounts of curve / dome in them (if you know what I mean!) even though I am using the same mould, and this makes My finished pieces look un-uniform and untidy when used for earrings etc.

    I do use a long, high kiln firing schedule Vsilvered, so my silver is pretty sturdy, but I assume it is slightly softer than sheet silver?? so may mark a little, and I really want to minimise post Doming polishing!

    I forgot to mention that My little flowers are untextured, does this mean I'll be ok with a steel or brass block n punches? I love the idea of making my own domes in a wooden block but am not sure I'd be very good at making the wooden punches!

    I really appreciate all of your advice! Thankyou!

    Charlotte

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,357

    Default

    Hi Charlotte,

    If there is no texture, it should be safe to use metal punches with a metal block. Vsilvered has said that doming fired PMC is doable, so have a go.

    However as fired clay would behave similarly to a cast metal, it might crack if you whack too hard. Your alternative would be to get a disk cutter and dome some disks made from sheet. Dennis.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    Posts
    355

    Default

    In one of my projects lately I domed silver clay prior to firing but...hadn't domed it quite enough I realised afterwards. I used my brass doming block but because I only had metal punches and the piece was textured I placed a piece of thin suede leather in the dome and gently pounded until it was the right shape. It worked out just fine. When I use metal clay I always fire at the highest heat and as long as I can to make it as strong and durable as possible, otherwise I think it would be likely to break. Sounds like you do the same so hopefully it will work out for you!
    Last edited by Sandra; 22-11-2015 at 04:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,351

    Default

    Charlotte, there is also the thought that no two flowers are exactly the same and little differences show that they are made lovingly by hand and not machine. It depends whether you are going for uniformity or more natural
    Last edited by CJ57; 22-11-2015 at 05:36 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •