1. Decide on your ring size and Ring Master Mold to use.
All metal clay shrinks. PMC3 for example shrinks about 2 ½ to 3 ring sizes. So if you want to make size 7 ring you would use Ring Cap Mold 10. Ring size plugs can be used during firing to ensure shrinkage and force half sizes. So if you wanted 7 ½ ring you would use Ring Mold 10 and place 7 ½ ring plug in it ring during firing. To choose your mold size please add your final ring size plus the number next to your clay from chart to the right.
Formula: Final Ring Size + Chart# = Ring Cap Mold #
**Ring size shrinkage is approximate for stated clays and may be subject to change
|Using this metal clay||Add this #|
|PMC Onefire 960||4|
|Art Clay Silver||3|
|Art Clay 950||4|
2. Prepare mold and clay
Lubricate your ring cap mold and roll out a ball of clay 3.5mm or 7 rolling frames thick. There should be enough clay to cover desire mold cavity
3. Create ring cap
Cover ring cap cavity with freshly rolled out clay. “Gently” extrude clay into mold by rolling over it with clay roller. This should be done gradually each pass rolling a little harder to fill mold. Going slowly will allow air to equalize in mold and properly fill cavity. Most of excess clay will fall to thr side. Clean up extras and reroll again before putting on hotplate for 15min. Allow to cool and remove from mold. You need to repeat this process for second ring cap.
4. Prepare clay with Flex Fluid
Using your chosen clay you are going to make small amount of flex clay out of it. Add one drop of Flex Fluid per 2 grams of clay. Mix well by kneading and allow it to sit for 20 minutes till it absorbs fluid.
5. Create band
Using your freshly created flex clay roll out snake and then roll flat between 1.5mm to 4mm (Rolling Frame numbers 3 to 8). The range of thickness will determine whether texture is inset into band or sits higher then rings caps. The texture you are using will also determine how thick clay strip should be. Experiment and have fun!
6. Texture and cut
Take this strip of clay and roll into your texture. There are many ways to do this. We used Rolling Frames placed on texture sheet. Once again experiment and have fun! After your strip is textured lay it face up and use your ring cap cutter to cut.
| 7. Cut band length with guide|
Take your textured strip and using guide lines align straight on the same number you used on molds. So if you made caps from number 10 then you use guide ruler 10. Using tissue blade cut down strip to appropriate length. Slightly angle blades in towards center of strip while pushing down and cutting as shown in diagram on cutting guide sheet. This will help seam match when the 2 ends meet. There is no exact angle as it will change per ring size and texture. As long as you angle “slightly” you will be fine.
8. Dry textured band
| 8. Dry textured band|
Gently manipulate and wrap your texture strip around something round and slightly bigger than your ring cap and place on hot plate for 10-15 minutes. Even though we made flex clay this will put less stress on band then bending after dry from a flat strip. Especially important on deep texures.
| 9. Assemble your ring|
You may have or not noticed that the cutter created a small 1 mm rail along each side of your texture band length wise. This rail will fit inside of each of the groves on the ring caps perfectly. Inspect each ring cap and lightly sand any excess off. Test fit band to caps. They won’t really match up so easily but you should be able to get an idea how they should fit before the next part. So now the magic happens. Using spray bottle, filled with distilled water, spritz the ring grove side facing up 1 or 2 times. Then spritz your work surface.
Take the ring band and slightly wet the 1mm rail on one side swirling one side of band in the spritz on the work surface. In about 1 to minutes both the grove on ring cap and rail on band will begin to soften. Using brush slightly wet two ends of texture band seam where it will meet so that it softens. Now start fitting the band rail into the ring cap. It does not have to be perfectly flush but should sit inside grove enough so you can start to fit other side. For the other side you will soften second ring cap the same way you did the first.
Using same concept work the second 1mm rail into second ring cap grove. Once they are sitting nicely in groves push from both sides of ring caps onto textured band. Inspect that everything is flush and even and adjust with squeezing pressure where necessary. This process should be fairly easier as clay is softened and will basically melt and fuse together easily. Place on hot plate 10-20 minutes and you are ready to go.
| 10. Now what?|
At this point should have a fairly perfectly formed ring. The seam should need little or no measurable work done. If it does now is the time to do it. It is also the time to embellish, sand and imagine the possibilities for the next ring now that you understand how it works.