Lora Hart – Master Muse Challenge #45

MasterMusesDesignChallenge45 - Lora Hart

Lora Hart Hero 5 Lora shares with us a quick synopsis of the steps she takes to create her pierced metal clay brooch.

We hope the tutorial will serve to inspire you to create! No matter if you just get out your sketch book and draw a similar project based on these challenges. It's a place to start. It's a way to start off your day in the right frame of mind with a creative exercise!

Lora says "Piercing has become one of my new loves. I've done it with milled metal quite a few times, but it was when I first poked a design in metal clay that I really felt the love of "nothing". Voids and vacancies can add so much depth to a piece of jewelry. Whether it's used to showcase a found object or just draw attention to the wearer's own clothing, a well designed hole adds another magical layer of interest. I usually make my own templates of card stock bonded to packing tape, but I found some really wonderful stenciling templates in the fabric/craft store and thought I'd adapt their design to match the brooch I had in mind. Using both wet and dry piercing techniques help the maker to cut voids of different widths with ease."

If you are interested in the full step-by-step tutorial please stay tuned. It will be available at Whole Lotta Whimsy. They will be in a handy bench format too! This tutorial looks like it will be over 60 pictures with tons of detail in this #45 Tutorial!

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to roll out metal clay and construct your own template for the design
  • How to cut out, engrave and drill into Faux Bone
  • How to use nuts and bolts to create a rivet
  • How to "pierce" a metal clay piece using the negative space for the design
  • How to fire and sand metal clay for a beautiful finish
  • How to drill a hole in metal clay
  • How to make a pinback out of wire
  • How to make a french knot

4WetPierce Roll out the silver metal clay on a low relief texture (tear-away or etched metal).  Flip over and place on the teflon or non-stick surface.  Using a template and a needle tool, cut out clay and remove.  Using the template, also cut out the outer edge.

7WetTrim Using a flexible tissue blade cut the outside edge and the bottom of the shape.

Dry completely.

11DryDrill Draw on the remainder of the design.  Using a hand drill and bit, make a hole in the center of the teardrop design.


18DryPierce With a jeweler's saw blade and saw, remove the teardrop and desired pierced lines.
Lora has lots of tips on how to saw bone dry clay and how to use the jeweler's saw in the full tutorial, available at WLW soon.

Using drill bits, make holes for the rivets (decorative and point of cold-connection).

Using a modified piece of sandpaper (in full tutorial) sand inside the delicate pierced lines and cutouts.  Lora also shares her finishing techniques which involve the Fantastix sponge stick and toothpicks!

Fire in a kiln at 1650F for one hour and let cool naturally or quench in water.

37Polish Polish using the 3M radial wheels (see Whole Lotta Whimsy for instructions on how to load the 6 wheels on your mandrel).  Use a needle file to perfect any openings if needed.

39measureScrew Using a digital caliper determine the approximate gauge of the screws.  Consult the Whole Lotta Whimsy wire and drill chart that comes with every order to see which drill bit you'll need to both enlarge the rivet holes and to drill into the Faux Bone backing plate.

Using a variety of drill bits, drill out the holes for the rivets.  If you do not have the right size, drill smaller and ream out with a needle file or bead reamer.

Black Max the entire piece and neutralize in baking soda and water.  

Let dry and then use a Pro Polish pad to remove the patina from the high points.

50CutFB Make a template of the silver metal clay out of graph paper and attach to the Faux Bone (Lora gives some great tips here).  Then cut out the 1/16” Faux Bone.

Remove the graph paper.  File the edges with a large hand file.  Sand with 3M Sanding Sponge, medium.

Using a glue stick, apply the metal to the Faux Bone.

Mark the rivet holes.  Drill the rivet holes in the Faux Bone.  Drill two additional holes at the bottom from which to hang the pearls.

You will also need to drill the holes for the pin mechanism as well.  Don't forget to use the sanding sponge to remove burrs and scratches.

63Shoepolish Using a needle tool, scribe, craft knife or awl, scratch a faux wood grain texture onto the back of the Faux Bone.  Use a clean white soft cloth to rub brown shoe polish into the marks and then scrub to remove excess.

69InsertWire Cut a piece of wire, with round nose pliers, wrap it around twice to create the spring/coil for the pinback.

Cut off excess and shape/file into a sharp taper point.

The other "leg” of the wire, exiting the non-textured side of the Faux Bone, will be bent and inserted into the hole.  

Now that wire comes thru the textured side, you are going to make it into a hook.

99aSetFB Trim and attach the felt with a glue stick.  You could use just about anything as your mixed-media inserted material.  

Thread one brass screw into the metal clay rivet hole and through the felt.  Fit the screws into the Faux Bone back plate.  Working one screw at a time, tighten the screw into the Faux Bone using the pliers as a wrench or the handy Hex Socket Wrench.  

Remove the excess screw once tightened with a wire flush cutter and file flat.  

Place the screw head on a steel bench block and tap the filed end of the screw with the tapered end of a riveting hammer

Lora has very thorough detailed steps for creating the pin back and rivets in the full tutorial.

114ThreadCord Choose a silk cord that complements your color scheme.  Make sure it fits the hole of the beads or pearls.  

Crimp the cord after threading it through the holes in the Faux Bone.

Add the bead and tighten the french knot.  Repeat for all the dangles.

Texture, color and a beautiful design!  I love this project and the techniques.  So many applications to so many different captured materials.  When metals are expensive, artists find extraordinary ways to make their materials go farther while using less of the more expensive ones.  I find Lora's use of materials, wise and inspiring.  I hope you do too!

Each of these Master Muse class tutorials exposes new techniques to even the most seasoned of instructors and makers. I'm always surprised at how differently each artist approaches a challenge and how their skills allow them to execute a creative result. I learn at least one valuable shortcut or new technique in each tutorial.

These are affordable classes that you can take in your studio, at your pace, with all the details and more that you would get in a live class. Not to mention that they are scrupulously edited and if the details aren't there, I ask for more info and pictures. 

We'd love to see you take the challenge and make this or a similar piece as well. Can't wait to see your pieces. Send them and we'll post pictures in a future Challenge Gallery. Challenge yourself!

Don't forget to leave a comment. This is the last tutorial before we give away a 1/2" Faux Bone Ring Blank along WITH a Faux Bone Peeler from Robert Dancik, a $40+ value!  Try your hand at making a Faux Bone ring from our third round of challenges by the Master Muses.

How to win? Leave a comment on every blog (even older posts) or get two entries for tweeting, putting it on Facebook, the Metal Clay Yahoo Gallery forum, your blog etc. Just send us a copy of the link to support@wholelottawhimsy.com! Let your friends know how to make their Wednesday's rock…. with of course, the Master Muse Tutorial launch!  Your odds of winning are pretty darn good so leave a message or comment.

PMC Connection Senior Instructor Lora Hart began working with metal clay at the turn of the century. After nearly 20 years as a busy make-up artist in the entertainment industry, an actor's strike put her career onhold. Four happily creative years later, she began a new and fulfilling life as an instructor in the greater Los Angeles area. Working out of her quaint Venice Beach Studio, Lora is honored that her work has been included in many publications including The PMC Guild Annual, Barbara Becker Simon's Metal Clay Beads, Sherri Haab's Metal Clay and Mixed Media Jewelry and Holly Gage's The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry. This year, Lora has begun an online challenge to make a Ring A Day and started work on the first level of The Master's Registry.

Check out Lora's work at www.LoraHart.com. You can purchase her work online! Contact her for more details.

Photo credit: final piece Drew Davidson; step-by-step Lora Hart


11 Responses to Lora Hart – Master Muse Challenge #45

  1. Fabulous project, Miss Lora!! Combines 3 of my favorite things – metal clay, faux bone and color!!

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