Silver clay molds based on antique wood carvings

The most magical feature of silver clay is the possibility to make silver clay molds of nearly everything: from living flowers to artifacts made long ago by our ancestors. I have inherited from my great-grandmother some antique wood carvings, among others a couple of napkin rings and a wooden bookmark. To my opinion they are too beautiful to be used for their primary purpose or to be kept in a drawer as a collectors item. So I decided to promote them to jewelry by embossing them in silver clay.
The napkin ring was easy to use: I just rolled it over a 2-card thick flap of silver clay, making a negative print of it. After that the usual silver clay processing procedure was applied. The piece was dried and fired. To preserve the texture sanding and polishing were reduced to the minimum. The finished piece was oxidized with liver of sulfur to accentuate its ‘antique look’. The silver plate was fastened to a leather sheet, making a gorgeous bracelet
The bookmark required a less straightforward approach. I made a silicone mold first using a pre-packaged two part silicone mold putty. After that the silver clay was pushed into the mold, creating in this manner a positive print, an exact copy of the original wood flower. Owing to shrinkage during firing the silver pendant is about 15% smaller compared to its original.
In this way the Feng Shui element circle was almost completed: from wood through earth (clay) and fire to metal. Only water is missing. But maybe it is worth drinking a glass to the successful transformation of antique wood carvings into modern silver jewelry pieces.

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