How I used a Kitchen Disaster to make Silver Jewelry

You all know Textures Tuesday, right?

No? Well it’s an inspiration page on facebook where photos of textures are posted on Tuesday. We challenge each other with themes and brillant pictures, moderated by our lovely host Catherine Witherell. It was this page that inspired me to create a new pendant and write this post.

And it starts in the kitchen. I love to cook. It’s one of my ways to wind down after a hard day’s work. One of my favourites to make is white roux* for vegetables. That was what I was making on a Tuesday late afternoon.

Unfortunately I got distracted and forgot the roux while it was on the stove. When I came back, it was burned. Not heavily, like very smelly, but enough to create a thick layer on the bottom of the pan. Without much ado I threw away the roux in my sink and started to clean the pan.

Then inspiration struck. The theme of this week on Textures Tuesdays was bubbles. I looked into the pan and I saw… bubbles! Of course I ran away to fetch my camera. I started to make a series of pictures, planning to post them for this week’s TT theme.

Burned roux

The roux still in the pan. It’s wet and soft.

When I was making the pictures, there was that nagging voice that said: “How could I capture this texture, ‘cause it would be gorgeous to use on Metal Clay?” When you work with Metal Clay it’s inevitable that you see the world as a supplier for textures. So a plan formed in my head. Instead of cleaning the pan, I put it upside down to let it dry till the next morning.

At that point the roux had dried substantially and I was able to scrape small parts of the bottom to let them further dry on a plate. Two days later it was hard enough to press the two-component rubber against it to form a negative of the Roux.

Roux mold, La Leipsig

Dried roux with two-component mold material.

Exited I rolled out a slab of silverclay. Carefully I pushed the mold against the clay. I decided on making a picture like framing to honour the Texture Tuesdays page. The clay was dried on a glass to create a nicely curved pendant. When it was dry I opened up some holes to create some lightness and baked the pendant.

Silver Clay pendant, La Leipsig

Unfired silverclay pendant with roux texture.

Take away from this story: “Keep your eyes open to unexpected gifts of serendipity”. You never know when inspiration strikes. :-)
I invite you to leave your story about getting an unexpected idea in the comments to share with the other readers.

Silver pendant, La Roux

La Roux: The finished pendant. Fine silver. La Leipsig Jewels.

*Roux (pronounced “roo”) is one of the basic thickening agents in the culinary arts. Used primarily for thickening sauces and soups, roux is made from equal parts fat and flour, and the “equal parts” are measured by weight, not volume.

Helga van Leipsig

About Helga van Leipsig

Lives and works in The Netherlands. She creates one of a kind and limited edition jewelry that she sells through her website and a few galleries. Exploring the possibilities of metal clay is her passion, one that leads to innovative techniques like using ceramic decals on fine silver. She loves to share her knowledge by teaching metal clay workshops in the south of the Netherlands and presenting at conferences.


How I used a Kitchen Disaster to make Silver Jewelry — 18 Comments

  1. I had the same thing happen with burnt sugar. Unfortunately, when I put the silicone compound on it, the compound never hardened. (I later realized the compound had expired.) It ultimately ruined the sugar. I will try to replicate it in the future!

    • Oh… that’s a pity. But do try again with new compound material. I would love to see the results.
      Although my originals are ruined as well. Not by the compound but by my dog. :-) He found them quite edible, so I still want to burn the roux a second time!

    • Hi Cindy, strangely enough I saw you comment just today. Well, I’ll reply anyway :-)
      Yes, citrus is also a very interesting texture. Mold it a bit before it starts drying and you can create all sorts of funny shapes as armature.

  2. When I burn a votive candle on a plate I add a tablespoon of water to avoid a wax mess I cant clean. I now have a coffee can full of votive candles that after burning out the hot wax has formed designs on the floating water. I would like to copy in PMC. No 2 are alike. I have lots of ideas floating around and now that Iam semi retired there is time to be creative. I love your burt rue texture. I have a gold ring in the shape of a painters pallet and the holes all threw the ring look like your ktchen disaster! Keep up the good work where ever you find insperation. Susan Fulton Pueblo Co

  3. That is so funny Helga! I love the story and seeing how you turned a disaster into Triumph! Good for you! Just shows you the riches all around us, even in the burned sauce!!!

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