An artificial nugget: left over gold clay

I recently made a pair of gold clay earrings. I had a tiny amount of gold clay left over, not enough to be practical. What could I do? Mixed metals!

Directions for making the pendant below:

  1. Choose a shape (I chose a leaf). Cut it out of untextured silver clay, 0.5 mm thick. Roll more clay 0.5 mm thick and texture it. Cut an oval (or other shape, but ovals look natural) out of it. Around that, cut the same shape as the untextured clay.
  2. Dry both pieces. Join them with silver clay paste. Let that dry, then finish like any greenware.
  3. Roll the leftover gold clay to a thickness of 0.5 mm. Cut out an oval the same size and shape as the hole you cut before. Place it in the opening in the silver. Now comes the fun part. Using a clay shaper, work the gold clay you did not use into the oval, giving it the look of a natural nugget.
  4. After the gold dries, use syringe as you would if it were a gem. That will keep it from popping out. If any gold shows on the side, cover that. I know it’s a shame to cover gold, but leaving it exposed would look sloppy.
  5. Add a bail if you haven’t already. Do any last minute greenware finishing. I brushed the gold clay with denatured alcohol, as if it were a gem. I don’t know if that is necessary, but I didn’t want to risk having silver dust dull the gold Fire according to the instructions for firing gold clay.
  6. Brush, tumble, and patina as usual. Don’t worry — the gold won’t take patina.
  7. There you are, a lovely pendant with an artificial nugget as a focal piece. And you used every last scrap of your gold clay!


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