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Imagine A New Type of Silver - Soft enough to shape and mold like modeling clay - that is fired into genuine silver jewelry. All without complex and expensive forging and casting equipment! It's not myth: it's a real material called Precious Metal Clay (PMC) that's absolutely fun and fascinating to work with. Just mold the clay, let it dry, do final shaping, then fire, polish, and wear!
I. What Is Silver Jewelry Clay?
Silver jewelry clay is a mixture of tiny particles of silver, a binding agent and water. A unique substance that can be sculpted and formed, the clay is fired to burn out organic binders, leaving behind a 99.99% pure silver project.
The amazing nature of this clay means that a finished piece only shrinks by about 10% of the original design size.
Silver jewelry clay can be fired using a hand-held BUTANE torch or a small kiln.
Butane Torch: fires silver clay project to burn off organic binders. Good for most small projects. Large projects, or those using advanced techniques may require a small kiln to fire evenly.
Tweezers: use to handle newly fired projects and to set stones or other design elements. Also works well for burnishing fired projects. Delphi Tip: To get additional shine on a finished project, use the side of the tweezers to rub the surface of the silver.
Stainless Steel Brush: use to polish the natural crystaline surface of fired fine silver producing a smooth and shiny brushed finish.
Polishing Block: a small rubber surface that grips your project while you polish. Allows for firm scrubbing without having the project roll away.
Butane, which is available in pressurized canisters at most convenience stores.
IV. Tips and Techniques
To extend the working life of your clay, make sure all clay is well wrapped in an air-tight container when not in use.
If clay dries out, reconstitute it by adding a few drops of water and letting it sit wrapped, then work back into original consistency.
For proper strength, clay should be approximately 1.2 mm thick (the size of the cardboard strip set).
Make sure all surfaces that touch the clay are lightly coated with an organic release (i.e. olive oil or bag balm) to prevent sticking.
Your working area should be cool and without direct lighting, fans or fireplaces, to prevent premature drying and cracking.
If cracks occur, projects are not ruined. They can be filled with paste and sanded when dry or the clay can be broken down and reconstituted (see above).
Allow clay to thoroughly dry. Placing the project in front of a fan, on a warming plate or using a warm air blow dryer can reduce drying time.
Projects that are dried but not fired are not yet definite. Cracks can be filled; details can be added by using your paste as a glue then attaching syringe work or other small pieces of clay.
Before firing your work make sure your project is exactly what you want the finished piece to look like. Sand all edges smooth, make sure cracks are filled and all parts are secured. Once fired the piece is final.
For More Jewelry Clay Instruction and
Great Beginner Project Supplies See:
Introduction to Precious Metal Clay #6289 This do-it-yourself guide by Mary Ann Devos provides all the information you need to get started and advance to a "master class" level. This easy-to-follow guide explains the clay and tools you will need, as well as showing step-by-step projects with detailed instructions and photos.
Working with Precious Metal Clay #6318 50 projects are presented in this comprehensive guide, plus plenty of useful tips for working with silver jewelry clay. Finished items are shown in color; directions are augmented with color illustrations to guide you thought the creative process. Hardcover and spiral bound, this useful guide by Tim McCraight is 127 pages.
Rubber Stamps and Texture Sheets Combine the magic of jewelry clay with the simplicity of stamping to create beautiful and unique jewelry. Simply roll out the clay, stamp the design or letters, finish shaping the jewelry and you’re ready to fire. Roll on texture sheets to give silver textured designs. Stamps available in individual letters, entire Alphabet Set #1044, Romance Set #6845650, Winged Creatures Set #6845651, Feng Shui 1 set #6845670 and Feng Shui 2 set #6845671. Texture sheets come in a package of 18 different designs #68301.
Use the Kemper Klay Gun #68709 for a limitless number of decorative clay
effects. Includes 19 assorted discs with easy to use extruder gun. Pattern
cutters allow students to make precise, even shapes quickly and easily.
Sets include four cutter shapes: round, teardrop, star/flower and heart.
Available in 3 sizes; 3/16 inch #68704, 3/8 inch #68705 and 3/4 inch #68707.
Use multiple sizes to layer shapes on top one another. Designer Dot Set
#68701 is a handy tool for quick and easy imprints in a variety of small
designs. Includes eight interchangeable tips.