Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Hinged Book Charms

Making these little charms lessens the pressure of perfectionism; my goal is to make many expressions of an idea, not one perfect exemplar. They feature a relatively large hinge for such a tiny object (think of the spine of a book relative to its size) making it much more approachable than a hinge on a ring, for example
Working small saves material and money. That in turn frees me to be less focused on how much clay I’m using so I can explore these ideas through repetition and variation, therefore perfecting my technique. I’m using PMC Sterling, the perfect choice for pieces that require strength, like hinges or pieced work.

This time around I wanted to try a spiral bound book and a book with a heavily pierced front.

I could have drilled the holes for the spiral binding after firing. Ordinarily that’s just what I’d do, but I wanted to see just how evenly PMC Sterling would shrink.  You would not be able to pre drill like this with original bronze, for example.  The holes would not line up after firing.  In general, I do drill any holes that will need to line up, like holes for rivets, after firing, but this seemed like a worthwhile test.

In the original plan, the loops along the bottom edge were to hold a tiny peg (pictured) that would be attached by a chain, to keep the book closed.  After firing it seemed unnecessary, so I used the loops to hold balled up wires.

The fired, unfinished spiral book with a test spiraled wire. The holes lined up perfectly demonstrating that the PMC Sterling shrank evenly in the kiln. I decided to add a flame patina-ed copper “page” and so had to go up in size on the wire spiral.  A larger diameter wire accommodated another page nicely.


Hung from the top, this spiral style book works nicely as a necklace.  The bail here is the same thing I’m using as a hinge pin on the other book charms.

I riveted a little keum-boo piece to the back side of the copper page. Next time I’ll use a larger diameter spiral and add more pages.

I also finished a book/box charm I’ve been bringing along with this group. It closes securely with a purse clasp and holds a bronze spiral on a chain.