The stages of making my purple flowery cabochon
I have been asked a couple of questions about my purple flowery cabochon pendant so here’s a little more information about how I made it. Looking at the colour differences due to the lighting in my pictures I really should go back to using my photography set up but I took these pictures as a record for me rather than for sharing with you.
First I made 2 canes (typically I made them with little bits left over from another project so they were tiny and of course beautiful! If I had made them larger they wouldn’t have been so nice, it’s the cane law!).
|The purple flower canes|
I then hand formed a cabochon shape from scrap clay, starting with a ball shape which I cut in half and smoothed it down onto my work surface. I don’t get the shape perfect at this stage as it will be squashed about when I add the decoration.
I covered the scrap clay cabochon shape with thin slices of the cane pressing them in firmly once I am happy with their arrangement and not worrying too much about the distortion of the shape of the pendant. I use a knitting needle (a short double ended metal one, it’s my favourite smoothing tool) to smooth the cane slices so the joins were no longer visible. The cabochon then needs a little reforming (OK quite a lot sometimes!) and then gentle smoothing to remove finger marks. It is then baked, for more information about getting the ideal curing conditions see my latest curing experiments
|Cabochon after first baking, unsanded (yes this is a different one from pictures below)|
When making this pendant I couldn’t decide whether to give it a border ‘frame’ or not. So I took a picture without then added one and took a picture with the border so I could compare side by side. I decided the ‘frame’ added to the look of the pendant so was worth the extra time.
These pendants have been sanded but not buffed. I make the basic shape, bake and sand it then I add the backing, bail and a border. It’s then baked and repolished with the last few grades of sand paper only and buffed with my homemade dremel buffing wheel. I have tested it out and found you don’t get a better shine particularly by sanding and rebaking but it does mean it is easier to sand right to the edge if there isn’t a border in the way. It is better to add the backing, bail and border to a baked cabochon as you don’t distort it whilst doing so.