Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have an interest in learning to make porcelain jewelry. I’ve experimented with a few pendants but I would really like to learn to make rings. I’ve searched the internetinside and out and have been at a loss to find any good instructional. I’m at a loss how to fire the items without getting stilt marks and I wonder if I apply overglaze such as gold would I have to stilt the pieces if I’m firing at cone 018? Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would use porcelain for jewelry as it tougher and is brighter.If it earrings then they can be hung on high fire wires at cone 6 ,if pendants they can be stilted. You can apply lusters -gold-silver or opalescent at cone 018 after they are high fired  but they still need the wire rack or stilts unless theay have a claen spot on back with no glaze.There is lot out there to see in the market place. Never looked on the net for this stuff.I'm not a jewerly maker but been around a fair amount of it-once was a partner is a pin & magnet business with low fire so I know how its all done-we did press molds for quik production and had an unglazed area and did not use stilts to save time.It was a wholesale business dreamed up while drinking Coruba rum-the Buisess was named Coruba Pins . The idea was it was small enough to fit into a few boxes and not take up much space. We sold to Zoos and Aquariums in  US and Canada-it was the 70's and early 80's. We stamped a copywrite logo on each piece.We made 15-20 different animals and fish.

Lost interest after a few years and let it all go.The market was good probally still is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will just add that it is tricky to produce accurate and consistently standard ring sizing, due to the variables in the shrinkage rates of clays and the amount of testing and precision needed to get predictable results. Two batches of the same clay body will not be identical throughout the drying and firing process; different firings make a difference (pun intended) as do different kilns.   Porcelain shrinks at a higher rate than stoneware. If you are using commercial bodies, you can get the projected shrinkage rate from the manufacturer, as a place to start with, regarding your own testing.  Are you making molds for the rings? Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not saying that it cant be, or isnt done, but Ive never seen ceramic rings. Seen plenty of pendants, earrings, broaches, etc, which make sense because they wouldnt be bumped into as many things as something on your hand would. Are they durable enough to last a while?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were to make rings (and I wouldn't, because I think there are some things that just aren't suited for making with clay), I would design them in such a way that I could leave the edge unglazed so they could sit on the shelf during firing. Stilting, hanging, etc, just won't work well. Or make them from colored clay so you don't have to deal with glaze at all. Make sure it's a well vitrified clay, like porcelain, or they will absorb body oils too easily and get funky. I've seen ceramic rings, and most of them look too thin to be durable, or too thick to be comfortable. It would only take one bump against something hard to crack a ceramic ring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also add that wearing something that can break and slice your finger open is probably not a good idea. I don't wear rings anyways because of the danger they pose in everyday life much less one that could break apart and be razor sharp. I would have a really hard time selling something that could potentially hurt someone very badly. Just think about all the times you have smashed your finger or something now think about a super sharp ring also breaking and cutting into your finger. :blink:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hobby stores sell something called adjustable rings with pads. You glue your design to the pad.   (I thought about it but never followed through.)

I've experimented with making small pieces for jewelry more durable.  I coated several beads with epoxy glue (the clear drying type) and they looked fine, however I never used them in any projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would maybe look at making some kind of porcelain "jewel" to set on a metal ring, and then it's easier to have a bare spot with no glaze. I remember the 90's fad of wearing rose quartz or hematite rings, and they aren't a thing anymore because as others have observed, they break and cut you if you knock them too hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rings are the one type of jewelry I don't make with clay, for reasons mentioned already: sizing, breakage, risk of injury to the wearer. I've made hollow-extruded 'rings' that were actually pendants, the larger ones had weak spots at the joints and would sometimes come apart into two pieces during the glaze firing cooldown. Glaze was only applied to the outer portions, the inside was unglazed, they were fired hanging on a normal 10 gauge  bead bar. They broke less often when the entire piece was glazed. I added small holes through each side and would hang them on a wire (16-18 gauge kanthal) suspended on shelf posts during the firing.

If I were to make rings, I would make a cabochon that could have a bezel set around it and then the metal ring part soldered to the back of the bezel. I don't quite have the metalsmith skills to pull that off yet, but the results are beautiful and safe for the wearer. Metal clay might be another alternative for rings, you'd need a torch for silver, copper and bronze are fired in the kiln. I haven't seen anyone combine metal clay and porcelain pieces, likely b/c it's easier to set a piece in a bezel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Neil suggests, I'd use colored porcelain for the rings, and forgo glazing them. I wouldn't be too concerned about them firing exactly to the same ring sizes every time, since peoples fingers are often not perfect ring sizes. However, I would extensively test how the rings fire, and thrown vs. cast strength once fully fired. I used to wear hematite rings when I was young, but they would break so easily that I got tired of buying new ones.

If you overglaze, I'd apply it as a highlight, rather than over the full surface, so you don't have to worry about stilting.

The only porcelain jewelry I make is pendants, and I use colored slip so I don't have to glaze it and lose the detailed surface texture.

Edited by dnarthun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how they are made but I've been wearing a Black Diamond Ceramic wedding band for about 4 1/2 years now and it's been a very durable ring. No scratches so far. I've had it hit/smashed it pretty hard as I work with some pretty high end kitchen appliances( AKA heavy appliances). Its light weight and comfortable. Also on the point of breakage I'd much have a ring break off on my finger than have a metal ring get bent into my finger. 

My guess is it's fired without glaze, colored porcelain and machine ground to proper size and machine polished to a high sheen.

Edited by Mullins Pottery
needed to add a bit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mullins Pottery said:

I'm not sure how they are made but I've been wearing a Black Diamond Ceramic wedding band for about 4 1/2 years now and it's been a very durable ring. No scratches so far. I've had it hit/smashed it pretty hard as I work with some pretty high end kitchen appliances( AKA heavy appliances). Its light weight and comfortable. Also on the point of breakage I'd much have a ring break off on my finger than have a metal ring get bent into my finger. 

My guess is it's fired without glaze, colored porcelain and machine ground to proper size and machine polished to a high sheen.

'Ceramic' is a very broad term. I'm betting that your ring is made using an industrial process, with a ceramic material that is very different from the clay that we potters use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.