I love taking natural textures and seeing what I can do with them. Silver clay is such a versatile medium. It lends itself to being moulded, stretched and wrapped, as I have done here. The band of this delicate shell ring was made by wrapping a piece of silver metal clay around a spiral shell, which I found on the beach.

By pressing the metal clay around the sides, it has picked up the texture of the grooves and ridges around this shell. With these tiny rings, I left the bands to dry for a short while in order to set the texture, before shaping around a mandril and joining the ends with metal clay slip. A bit like joining any kind of clay. I’ve trimmed it to size, allowing for 10% shrinkage during firing and secured the ends gently using a slip made of a tiny piece of metal clay, water and a small moulding tool or paint brush.

When the band was dry, I was able to position the tiny flowers using a pair of fine tweezers and attach them with metal clay slip. Adding decorations is the fun bit. I’d previously made and dried a few tiny silver metal clay flowers and leaves using a tiny shell and tools to shape them. And yes, it was very fiddly. Magnifying specs 🤓 are a must!

I’m still experimenting with making rings, and combining my silversmithing skills with those of a metal clay artist. I’ve purposely kept the organic, uneven band because I feel that by sanding the inside and the edges of the ring, I’ll loose the essence and authenticity of the natural piece.

Everything is an adventure right now! If you have any questions, please DM me. You can find me @silvernutshell or visit my Etsy Shop to buy pieces from my collection.

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