Monday, October 22, 2012

Building an Ammonite Focal Tutorial

Like the Acorn Bead I shared last couple of weeks ago,
 I've never made this kind of 2 sided Focal before either.

Here's a step by step of how I made all the pieces and put them together and the finished piece.

Create 2 identical round pieces with whatever texture you would like,
Ammonite is one of my favorite so of course that's what I chose.
I made these 3 cards thick.

I made 2 strips the approximate width I wanted to separate the 2 pieces,
they are 4 cards thick and I dried them on the next size smaller circle cutter.

I tested them out and cut one in to a smaller piece
 to allow for fairly substantial stringing material to be able to fit through if that's what I choose to use.

More testing, next step, filing things down so they have a nice snug fit
before I attach it all together to make a single piece.

Moisten both inside surfaces of the rounds and the edges of the connecting pieces,
put together and put pressure on them to give them a chance to bond.

Fill in any gaps with paste...

Continue to use a clay shaper and watered down copper clay to fill and smooth until all the spaces or gaps are filled and nice and smooth.
Almost ready for the kiln!

I placed it in the container on end with the holes on the bottom so it won't fill up with carbon and put the other pieces I'm firing with it around it and cover it up 1 layer at a time.



  1. Very interesting piece! Looks like this took some time.

  2. Oh my, that's just fabulous!!! And you got it right on the first try!!!

  3. Ooh the ammonites are my favorite too! And that is simply lovely!

  4. Oh heavens, not only do I adore this, but I love watching the process! Thank you!

  5. That is really awesome and I love seeing the process. I do NOT have the patience to do something like that...

  6. Squeeeee! Ammonites are one of my many FAVORITES (I'm a complete nature dork) - and I just LOVE that you did this in copper - it turned out fantastic - the patina on the copper makes this piece *sing*! Well done, and thank you for the peek-behind-the-scenes!

  7. Gorgeous piece! Thanks for sharing the process.

  8. Turned out great Kristi! I could now see you making an ammonite box for trinkets or a gift of earrings. : )

  9. Thanks for sharing this process!! Love your ammonites!

  10. It was so much fun following your process with the photos. Beautiful focal! <3

  11. Now THAT is AWESOME! So when I first saw it I thought there was a hole through the middle. Also, after looking at it and the way it's made with a tiny amount of tweaking these could be gauges for gauged ears(stretched ear lobes)! Didn't know you were making a bead that could find it's way into body jewelry huh? ;) xo Genea

  12. WOW! have no idea what you are talking about for most of the steps, but I love it!

  13. This is beautiful, Kristi - I made a single focal like this when I was still dabbling in metal clay, but it didn't occur to me until I read your post that perhaps this construction would work for regular metal too. Maybe an etched top? Hmmm.... thanks for the inspiration! :-)

  14. I totally love when you show your process! These are amazing!!!!

  15. Wonderful tutorial Kristi. Thanks so much for sharing you skills with us.


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.