Archive for July, 2012

Once upon a time there was a pirate called Edward of the Thorny islands (ok I’ve been gardening this week – having a fight with blackberry thorns…). One night after a big sea battle against another pirate ship there was a big big storm. The ship started sinking and Edward loaded the big copper treasure chest full of gold and diamonds trying to get to shore on a raft made from pieces of wood from the ship. Only the treasure chest made it to shore, badly beaten, and became buried in the sand. There it still lies today on this deserted island – waiting to be found…

Treasure Chest

I finally got around to experiment a bit with a whole bunch of new things! I know, the best is to try only one new thing at a time – but I just had to do this whole bunch of things at once!

The Facebook group – Metal Clay Europe, announced a challenge to make something on one or more of the themes Dragons, hidden treasure and architecture. I thought it would be a fun challenge and started sketching some things. Finally I decided to make a treasure chest in copper clay. I wanted the chest to have “proper” metal bands and thought I’d finally give the fun material “scratch foam” a real go (this was not the branded scratch foam but a similar product I found here in Sweden)
If you want to learn more about this wonderful medium I suggest you go to Wannaree Tanner’s blog and read more about what’s possible!

I also wanted to try out cutting patterns in the foam with my Silhouette cutter (the idea came from the great FB-group MC SILies), so that I got a mix of sharp and soft pattern lines. Said and done I created my drawing of the different parts and after cutting (the squares) and then burnishing the rest of the pattern with ball burnishers I got my texture plate all done.

treasure chest texture sheet

I started to build my treasure chest and although a bit crooked I think it went pretty well. For the first time I also made my hinges using an extruder. That was a really nice way of making them I must say! :o)
To make things even harder though, I made double hinges – that ment they’d really had to be aligned so that it was possible to open the lid. But BEFORE  firing Hey – it worked!! Yay!

chest before firing      treasure chest before firing

Since I hadn’t fired copper clay in the kiln I planned to use – I now thought I’d be doing this right so I fired a test piece made from the pattern with a bit of left over hinge tube as the bail – and hey presto it came out just as I hoped!

test piece

Hmmm… is this going too well…. ?? well – yes….

So I fired my treasure chest only problem was – I didn’t have anything to keep the carbon off the inside of the chest – and when it shrunk during the fire process – well it buckled – and the lid got stuck away from the chest – so the hinges broke… :o(


Ohh well – It was a great learning experience – and you know what a real treasure chest must be pretty beaten up when it’s found a hundred or more years later – worn down by sand, wind and sea! – So it added character to my little copper chest – and I learned a lot during the process!!

To finnish it off I tac fused some glass frit on a dichro piece of glass – and buried the chest with the “gold and diamonds” in some vermiculite…

gold and glitz

And it was a fun project to do – with lots of learning experience!!   :o)
/ Sara

Treasure Chest

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