Making a 2-Sided Silver Lentil Pendant
I recently completed a series of double sided pure silver lentil pendants and thought it might be helpful to briefly describe how they were made. Working with precious metal clay (PMC) silver is extremely rewarding and it provides a medium where your imagination can go wherever it wants. Here is a summary of the steps taken:
The Product: PMC® was developed and patented in the early 90s at the Mitsubishi Materials Special Products division in Sanda, Japan. The principal ingredient in PMC+ is silver, reduced to tiny particles smaller than 20 microns in size. PMC also consists of water and an organic binder. During the drying and firing process, the water and binder burn away completely and what remains can be hallmarked as .999 pure silver.
The clay is rolled out, textured and cut into circles.
Two circles are needed for each pendant. Each one is made with a different texture for each side of the pendant. The circles are then dried on a rounded surface. Here I use a coffee spoon and a ping pong ball.
Once dry, the circles are sanded so the bottom is flat and rough edges are removed. Then 2 circles are connected using water to soften the clay, making sure they fuse together well. They are left to dry thoroughly, usually overnight.
When the connections are dry, finer sanding is done to finish the edges. The embellishments are added. No two pieces are the same, as the intent is to make each side of each pendant different - therefore 2 pendants out of one. A file is used to make the holes on both sides for the cable chain that will be added later.
The dried lentils are fired in a kiln, shrinking to pure silver. When cooled they have a white semi gloss finish which is then polished becoming a smooth silver.
The pendants are oxidized with liver of sulfur and polished to the desired finish.
The recessed areas are left darker and the higher areas are polished to create contrast. I polish some areas more than others to emphasize a particular part of the texture or design. Here you see the same pendants after oxidizing and then after the initial polishing. There is a green nano gem in one of the pendants, which is a stone that can withstand the heat of the kiln.
The finished pendant is hung with a sterling silver snake chain (my favorite) and photographed for marketing purposes.