Great Tips for Working with Silver Art Clay

May 27, 2012

As we count down to the launch of our June online course video’s where we introduce you to Silver Art Clay for the first time, here are some great tips for working with Silver Art Clay in an article by Christine Grierer.

Silver clay? What the heck is that?

Silver clay, precious metal clay, art metal clay, and art clay silver are all different terms and types of “clay” that can be magically turned into silver and gold.

These innovative metal clays were introduced to the North American market in the nineties. Jewelry enthusiasts and hobbyists can now form and shape expensive metal as easily as plasticine.

Here is how it works. Gold and silver metal clays are composed of fine metal particles suspended in an organic binder. This binder enables you to mold and shape the clay as you would potter’s clay. When you are happy with the form, you let your project dry for a minimum of 24 hours ( or more ). You then fire it in a kiln or by employing a hand torch. The binder burns away, leaving the fused metal behind in the form you shaped it.

Before you grab a pile of silver clay and go at it though, you will need to keep 1 or 2 rules under consideration. Silver clay is expensive, so you don’t want to waste it.

Silver Clay Tips

Here are a number of tips for working with silver clay :

*Metal clays shrink 10-30% when fired. Be certain to check your package for shrinkage levels especially if you’re making rings or other objects that need to be exact fits.

*Not all metal clays can be hand torch fired. If you will not be employing a kiln be sure to check that your type of silver clay is “low fire”.

*Only little pieces should be torch fired. Pieces larger than 25g should be kiln fired.

*Silver clay isn’t cheap. The gold version especially is extraordinarily costly. Be certain to shop thoroughly and follow instructions punctiliously so you do not burn your money fruitlessly.

*Metal Clay simply takes on impressions of other objects (and fingerprints too). Experiment with different textures and objects to make imprints onto the wet clay.

*Gemstones that can stand up to the heat of firing can be set into the wet clay.

*Be bound to let your metal clay dry fully before firing. Firing damp clay will not work and you won’t be a content camper.

*Metal clays are sticky to touch so be certain to coat everything with a thin film of olive oil or other release agent. This implies coat your hands, your tools, and working surface. Just a touch of oil will do, so don’t go too far.

*You can improve drying time by placing your piece in a low heat stove. ( 150-200 degrees fahrenheit ). Pieces finely than your palm generally take approximately 24 hours to totally dry and toughen without the oven treatment.

*Sand your dried and hardened piece before firing. If you don’t like fingerprints, you won’t be in a position to remove them after firing.

*Metal clay is water soluble and can be fell with water. Keep a small bowl of water or a spritzer handy while you’re employed. If it begins to dry out while working, you are able to add a bit of water to dampen it.

*Buying smaller packages beats larger because you won’t have to worry about the entire block drying out.

Now you have some silver clay tenets, I bet you are psyched. You need to work with this inventive material now! What will you make first?

About the Author: Want to discover more about silver clay? Read more


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