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How do you know when to step away from the project for awhile and come back to it with new eyes?
I’ll tell you when.
When you are spreading cream cheese on your bagel and you wonder if that is the right thickness for paste or slip.
You take Sculpy all over the house with you in case you get creative and want to design something. Yes, it is getting deep in here.

And when you have questions you can’t find answers to, you don’t even care anymore who you have to call or write because you need the answer NOW. It will affect the outcome of the piece and all your hard work or potential hard work will be for nothing.

I have started moulding into the clay, itself. I am taking pieces of modeling material and covering my ear or nose with it, just to see what kind of pattern, look, shape I can get out of it.
I draw the line at eating it. Yet I wonder what those denturists use to make moulds of teeth.

My latest venture was to copy a ring one of my mentors made. It involved Steel clay and Copper clay. I TESTED it first…Yes, I actually did that. The idea was to make this ring for my husband or my psychiatrist (are you surprised?) but first I would make it to fit my finger. The fun part was constructing it because I only had a photo. I did good. However, firing the Steel took long enough for me to go to a garage and disassemble a car to procure the amount I needed. Yet, that clay came out really cool….HOT but cool. Funny thing? It did not fit any of my fingers. Not even my pinky. Nonetheless, head held high in denial, I proceeded to add the copper element and not being sure how one re-fires with these two clays, I wrote everybody. I didn’t get an answer and it was time.

(Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothing about birthin’ babies!!!)…..so I guessed. I did that once before. I figured it was baked already so now I probably just need to half-bake it. Please, I know what you’re thinking. Well, that didn’t seem to work when my husband pointed out that my whole firing time was 31 minutes including the holding, etc. So, feeling somewhat defeated, I picked myself up like the Iron Woman that I am…(not) and decided to program and fire the copper onto the steel ring with copper scheduling. Two phases and everything. Here’s the beauty part. Just as the alarm went off (and I knew it had worked) an email came in from my favorite metal clay maker/designer saying I should fire it with the regular copper scheduling.

Timing is everything.

Here’s the bottom line with this ring project. It is out of proportion. It doesn’t fit any finger. The ring is oval instead of round and me, I’m steel, oops, still trying to fix it with rotary tools, sand paper..AS IF, I am going to make it round and smooth and fit on my ring finger.

Never give up unless you absolutely are forced to…(Barbara Streisand from “The Way We Were”.

One more note. I have all kinds of tools to help me make rings. Wood mandrels, mandrels on a holder, a big steel mandrel, another thingamabob with different size tubes and so on.
NOW, I see there is another option….and something to make sure it doesn’t shrink any more than it’s supposed to.

You know what else is shrinking? My bank account.

Yet somehow, I go on. I love this. I am learning this and I’ll probably be blocked by my mentor and my jewelry friends. NOT HER AGAIN!