Intro: Pottery "jewel" Cabochon
These "jewels" as my son calls them, can be made with any sort of fireable clay and just about any sort of glass, minus Pyrex or it's like.. The ones above were all made with discarded bottles and other recycled glass. In this instructable, I will show you how to make the basic "jewel" to use in any number of jewelry projects. You can also check out my etsy shop Mossbottle for such lovelies!
Step 1: Getting the Clay
Getting clay for this project shouldn't be too hard... just about any decent art supply store should carry some. To be on the safe side, be sure that it is a cone 6 or above clay (the temperature at which it "matures" in firing). This will make sure that the clay itself will not melt in the firing of your piece.
Roll out a smallish ball to start. I have included a marble for a size comparison.
Step 2: Dimple the Ball
Use your thumb and fingers to make a dimple in your ball, flattening it out somewhat into a disc, making it into the base piece for your "jewel". I have made a stamp for uniformity of dimple depth and piece size, but this is not necessary to use.
Step 3: Modification of the Base Piece
This is the point at which you modify (if desired) your base piece (reshaping, cutting around the circumference to hold wire, any holes for stringing). Be sure that the indentation in the piece stays undamaged, as if there are holes IN the indent, glass will flow out of them later. This can cause a lot of problems, just FYI.
Step 4: Firing #1
Fire your base piece to cone 04. If you have no idea what this means, consult a potter or art or ceramic shop. They should be able to help you.
Step 5: Glazing
Glaze your base piece all over with a cone 06 glaze of your choice. Glazes can be obtained at any ceramic shop, some art supply stores or online at places like Amazon or at any major ceramics supplier online. If you don't know which color of glaze to use, I suggest that you use clear, as it will enhance the color of the clay that you are using, and won't potentially clash with the melted glass color.
Step 6: Add the Glass
Here I am showing a marble in a base piece to give an idea of how much glass should be used. Fill the indentation up completely with glass, whether you use a marble or crushed bottle glass (WARNING! BE SAFE WHEN CRUSHING GLASS) or scrap glass from a stained glass project, filling the indentation completely will make sure it is full after it is fired the second time.
Step 7: Firing #2
Fire the piece to cone 06. Be sure to use a stilt on the back, so that the glaze does not fuse your piece to the shelf of the kiln.
Step 8: Finish Your Piece!
I like to use copper wire in finishing my pieces. It is inexpensive, plentiful and beautiful. If you did not modify the shape of your base piece to accomodate findings or chains as in the above examples, nothing to fear! Jewelry bails can be had at any decent craft supply store that can be applied to the back of the piece using silicone adhesive.
I hope that you have enjoyed this instructable. Please vote for me in the contests that I have entered it in! Thanks!