Earlier this year I received a request from a friend to make something that was very different from my usual line of work. He had seen the sterling silver Map Turtle Pendant I had made last year, and was hoping that I’d be able to make a sterling silver shield with the Crest of Lordaeron from the World of Warcraft that he could wear as a necklace.
Even though this deviates from my typical nature-inspired pieces, I realized this would be a great opportunity to play around with carving in metal clay. With a project like this I create the basic form first in the sterling silver clay and let that dry overnight. The next day I’ll draw the outline of the details using pencil right on the clay, and then dive into the carving process.
The process can take awhile depending on the level of detail in the piece, and it’s really satisfying to start to see it all emerge from the initial blank slate. I go back and forth between removing material through carving, and refining the surface with fine sandpaper and files until I’m satisfied with the result. Some final finishing and smoothing, and the shield is ready for the two-step firing in the kiln!
Once the shield was fired I polished the raised areas and left the recessed parts with a rougher finish to add some contrast, and then finished it off with a patina to further emphasize that contrast. My friend was very happy with his new pendant, and I love that this project gave me an opportunity to try something a little different!