Etsy MetalClay is a global group of jewelry artists and designers using silver, gold, copper and bronze metal clays to create their work. We strive to make innovative, unique, and boundary pushing designs -embracing both modern technology and old world traditions.
Custom Cookie Cutters for Making Uniform Cutout Bead Caps
Here's a tip
to make your life easier while making multiples in metal clay. Why
multiples you ask? Multiples are the kind of piece you want to make
more than one of, for earrings, for uniform pendants on one necklace, or
if you're in a production cycle for a show. Bead caps can come in
handy often. Here are a few shapes that look good on earrings,
bracelets or pendants.
The easiest shape would be a circle. I also like the 4 pointed star.
This is a four-lobed piece that looks good bent over a bead.
I got myself
a sheet of 28-gauge copper and just cut uniform strips about 1/4 inch
wide with metal shears or tin snips. The copper is inexpensive and
resilient and easy to form with pliers.
I spent some
time making drawings and then I shaped the cutters to their outlines. I
don't worry about soldering the seams. The copper is springy enough to
hold it's shape if you're not too rough with it. I made my 4 pointer
1/2 inch wide and the four lobed piece almost 3/4 inch wide. You can
adjust your size and style to the beads you're using.
I roll out
my silver metal clay about 3 playing cards thick, then texture it. After the
surface has set up a little but the clay isn't hard yet, I use my
greased cookie cutter and cut out as many pieces as the rolled out sheet
will hold. I'm all about having more than you need for your project,
just in case you have another brilliant idea. Repeat as necessary. Remember to flip the cutter if you're making something that needs to be
symmetrical or a mirror image of the other.
completely dry, I finish the pieces and and then fire them for the
maximum firing time and temperature to make sure the silver is sintered
enough and will bend easily without breaking. I've never done this with
any of the base metal clays so if you want to, you need to blaze your
Here's where my dapping block comes into service.
I place a
piece face down in a depression that holds the entire piece inside the
rim. I place the dap in the center of the metal and hit it with a
hammer, firmly but not too hard.
In fact I
hit it rather gently but surely about 4 or 5 times to get the piece
to slowly form to the bowl of the block but careful not to punch out the
texture on the other side. I move the piece to the next smaller sized
depression and I do the same thing as the piece gets rounder and gets
closer to the size of the bead I'm going to use.
Your cookie cutters can be as simple or as complicated as your imagination lets them be.