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Mica jewelry


#1

Has anyone had any experience using mica in jewelry? I have a small
sheet of NC mica that I found, and would like to make a pendant of
some sort with it. However, it’s rather fragile, and I’m wondering
what the best wayto display it might be, while still maintaining the
integrity of the material. I’d rather not simply encase it in resin,
which is the only thoughtI’ve had thus far.

Just as an FYI, I had a beautiful mare named Mica who I reluctantly
let go to a friend because she wouldn’t come to my husband like the
rest of our horses. Mica, the mare, is easily the most elegant Barb
mare I’d ever seen, and I miss her horribly. I plan the pendant as a
tribute to her, and will suspend it from a braided necklace of her
tail hair.

Any thoughts on how to produce such a piece would be greatly
appreciated.

Linda in central FL


#2

Build a bezel cup and place a clear crystal or glass top on the mica
(assuming it’s relatively flat), and carefully roll the bezel.

Rob
Rob Meixner


#3

I’ve used mica in two pieces like slide glass to sandwich pieces of
gold leaf and then putting it into a bezel made from metal clay. It
can be stamped on, drawn on, used to sandwich a dried flower, painted
on reverse.

You’ll do something interesting with it.

Barbara on a cold night on the island


#4

Mica in thin sheets, as you probably have, is actually rather
fragile and prone to breaking off. The safest would be to back it
with something, and set it recessed, or cover it glass.

Historically it was found in much thicker, larger sheets and used as
window coverings. I haven’t found any that size in my lifetime, and
the sheets that you could find when I was a kid (more along the 6" -
10" size) are quite rare now…

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#5

Linda, the basal cleavage of mica means more than just being fragile.
It can form little flakey books that dust and grime can collect in.
Not only that, but water can soak into those books if it should
accidentally get wet. Some compact mica is beautiful enough that I
can see why you would want to use it. How about a lens of clear
quartz on each side of it? Seal the edges with some kind of
waterproof cement and enclose the edges in a bezel designed for a
double cabochon.

I’m actually a rockhound, not a jeweler. In this area of Idaho there
are both clear to silvery micas and black biotite mica. What color
is your mica? Other micas can be golden, sea green, or lavender. It
is too bad it is such a soft mineral. Though I have seen some
lavendar lepidolite shaped into cabs. But it is a jumbled mass
instead of large crystals. In Moscow, Russia, windows used to be made
of sheets of mica. Thus the name muscovite for the clear, silvery
micas. Also old stoves had little windows of mica before heatproof
glass was invented.

Rose Alene


#6

Check out Cahokia and the Mississippian culture. They imported mica
to Illinois from NC and made fantastic things

Ben a harris


#7

I used transparent mica sheet in a workshop at the Campbell Folk
School where we made pendants like a picture frame, using small
pieces of very thinmica as the top or “glass” layer. There were lots
of different versionsand the inclusions in the sheet gave a nice
antique patina. As I remember, we cut the pieces with scissors, very
slowly and carefully and avoided any fingerprints on it. After
several years the color (a faint sepia) hasn’t changed at all.

Barbara Jacquin


#8

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts on securing my mica flake for
jewelry. I’m thinking that I’ll encase it under either a glass or
quartz dome, set into a bezel. Haven’t decided whether it will be
open backed (with a glass back) or solid backed. It’s slightly
translucent, so it may be interesting to see if some light will pass
thru it. For those who asked, my sliver of mica is what I would call
"root beer" in color. It’s roughly hexagonal, about 25 mm across and
1 mm thick.

I’m familiar with the delicate mica sculptures of the Mississippian
culture- they are amazing, and are another reason I want to honor my
departed mare with a piece of her namesake mineral.

Linda in central FL


#9

Hi Barbara,

That is a beautiful pendant, thank you for posting the image of you
pendant and neck-piece. If I may ask, how did you apply the images?
On the mica or under the mica? What are the layers besides the mica,
glass?

I can’t quite work it out from the image.

Thanks again, Mark Parkinson In snow covered Wisconsin


#10

Can I just google mica for sources to purchase it? Are there grades
of mica or any other concerns to look for and/or avoid with mica?

thank you,
brenda


#11

How strong is mica?
I just googled and found mica at

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zyc , and
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zyd for 2 sites. Also

How do you cut mica and drill mica?

thank you, brenda


#12

There are sources on the internet for mica. I got some really nice
thick pieces a few years ago. I found one with a phone number and
called asking for nice thick pieces. I was delighted with what they
sent. Unfortunately, I have misplaced there website address, but if
you google around you should come up with some sources. Alma


#13
... how did you apply the images? On the mica or under the mica?
What are the layers besides the mica, glass? I can't quite work it
out from the image. 

Mark, that was a lot of fun to make. I made a backplate in silver,
pierced out my figure designs, soldered a bail to the back, cut a
rectangle of mica to go over that. Then I cut out the frame,
hammered the texture and put everything together with brass rivets.
There is nothing on top/outside of the layer of mica so care should
be taken when cleaning the pendant.

Thanks for the compliment.
Barbara


#14

I’ve used mica in a piece, but I deliberately broke it out to look
like a broken window. It’s sandwiched between two pieces of silver–
the back piece is a domed oval with enamel & the front is a c&r piece
that had several tabs that I bent back to hold the whole thing
together. I’m afraid I can’t help with sources, though. One of my
profs brought back a bunch of mica she’d found on a hike while on
vacation somewhere. You might be able get some mica from an enamel
supply company. It’s used as a surface to put pieces on when firing
that the enamel won’t stick to.

You can see my pendant here:

Sharon,
Artist, Metalsmith, Chaos Magnet


#15

As I recall, we just cut the mica sheets with scissors, not a
jeweler’s saw, but they were very good quality pieces. Drilling–no
idea how.

Barbara