Father's Day Cufflinks - Creating Beautiful Cufflinks for that very Special Dad
There are so many different designs and ideas that you could use to make your Dad a very special Father's Day Present.
Because there are many different designs and shapes, below is just a suggestion of what you may need:
Approximately 10g of Art Clay either the Original or Slow Dry.
Depending on your design you may also need Cork Clay and a Syringe or Rubber Stamps or Texture Mats.
Some Art Clay 650 Silver Paste.
Set of Spacers.
Ceramic Tile for drying pieces of clay on Stainless Steel Mesh for firing on a Gas Hob or, A Ceramic Fire Brick for Firing with a Gas Torch
Stainless Steel Brush
Stainless Steel Burnisher
Liver of Sulphur if you want to create an 'aged' finish Silver Polish and a Polishing Cloth
Sterling Silver Cufflink Backs and Bars
Emery Paper or 2 part Epoxy Glue
To create a base for the cufflinks you will need to roll out the Clay to an even thickness or at least one side of the base should be flat. This will ensure that you have a suitable surface to attach the cufflink backs too.
I normally find that a 1.5mm thickness provides enough weight and substance for a cufflink. If you want to create a textured surface then remember to place the spacers on the texture sheet before rolling out the clay. Once the clay has been rolled out, cut out the shape of the cufflink, by using mini cookie cutters or a craft knife. Place cut out pieces on a flat ceramic tile.
You can now add embellishments to the cufflinks with either rubber stamps, man made stones, Art Clay Syringe, etc. For the Cufflinks in the first picture above, I created a shape from Cork Clay, which I then dried overnight. Once dry I placed this on to the square rolled out piece of clay and syringed around the Cork Clay, ensuring that it was attached on all sides to the piece of clay. When it was fired the cork clay burnt away leaving a hollow filigree like structure on the base. In the second picture I used rubber stamps and in the 3rd one I used a texture mat.
Once you are satisfied with the cufflinks, dry them thoroughly. Generally I find it best to do this in the oven at about 150 to 180 degrees C for about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool and using your sanding pads, ensure that there are no sharp edges or scratches. If you are using Sterling Silver Cufflink backs, you can add them now with a little bit of Art Clay Paste. Dry again with a hair dryer for a few minutes before firing.
The cufflinks can now be fired, using a gas hob, blow torch or kiln. Remember if you have used Cork Clay it must be fired in a kiln.
Once fired, allow to cool slightly and quench in some cold water. Using your Stainless Steel Brush, brush your fired Cufflinks to expose the beautiful silver. If you have attached the cufflink backs prior to firing you may notice fire scale on them. This can easily be removed by dipping the Cufflinks in a ?pickle? solution or by filing away with a little bit of fine emery paper. If you haven't add the backs before firing, then you can either solder them on now or glue them on with a 2 part epoxy resin.
Depending on the finish you want, you can now burnish the Cufflinks or polish them up to a mirror finish with the sanding pads or oxidise them with a Liver of Sulphur Solution.
Add on the Cufflink bars and polish with a soft cloth. The cufflinks are now ready for that very special ?Dad? to wear.
Your imagination is the only limitation for design ideas. He will love anything that you make as it is such a very special present.
Susan Art writes for http://www.artclaysupplies.co.uk
Art Clay Supplies Ltd is now the official European distributor for some new and exciting moulds not previously available outside of the USA. The Art Clay Supplies website issues a new free project to make every month - for details of more projects sign up to the newsletter at http://www.artclaysupplies.co.uk/art-clay-monthly-project-page.shtml
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