|art clay metal clay||or small kilns at electrickilns.co.uk or larger kilns at paragonkilns.co.uk|
Art Clay is a clay-like material made of fine silver powder and water-soluble organic binders. During firing, the binders vaporise, the powder sinters, and the soft clay turns into real solid 999 silver: ready to wear, give, or sell.
You can design and make your own unique anklets, beads, bracelets, brooches, charms, earrings, keepsakes, necklaces, ornaments, rings, and seasonal decorations.
You can add silver clasps to clothes, overlays to gift cards, motifs to handbags, highlights to wood, ceramics, glass, and shells, and make complex pieces using cutters, moulds, shaping tools, stamps, and texture sheets.
Alchemy is a medieval belief that non-precious metals could be turned into gold. Although personal desire and chemical optimism did not create gold from something not-gold, the magic of the idea is still very powerful.
Suppose you want to make a silver heart for a necklace. You need silversmith's skills to cut, file, smooth, drill, and polish a piece of silver. It takes a long time, mistakes are expensive, and offcuts are hard to recycle.
Now suppose you want to make a modelling-clay heart. You need no special skills to shape, smooth, and dry a piece of clay. It doesn't take long, mistakes can be corrected, and offcuts can be kneaded back into a re-useable piece of clay.
Now make an ArtClay Silver heart, shaping it just as you did with the modelling clay. Dry it, fire it, and it turns into a shining solid-silver heart. The alchemy magic is that it's real metal.
Art Clay is a clay-like material made of fine silver or gold powder and water-soluble organic binders. As it's fired, the binders vapourise, releasing very small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water vapour, and the metal powder sinters, leaving solid 999 silver or 22 carat gold. Real metal, not something that just looks like metal.
Art Clay, sometimes called silver clay, gold clay, metal clay, or precious-metal clay, is made by Aida Chemical Industries, in Japan. It's available as 650 silver clay, original silver, slow dry, slow tarnish, water paste, oil paste, overlay paste, syringe clay, paper clay, gold clay, gold paste, gold foil, copper clay, and cork clay.
Art Clay is easy to fire in your kiln: put your dry pieces in the kiln and programme the temperature and hold-time. Or you can try it on your kitchen gas hob, on a camping gaz ring, or with a butane torch.
The firing temperature and time are important: metal clay has to sinter, not melt. There's a difference between sintering and melting: during sintering, the binder in the clay vapourises and the metal powder particles bond to produce solid metal whereas, during melting, the metal powder particles liquify and lose their original clay-shape.
Comprehensive instructions are included with the product although, as with many materials, make time to experiment rather than accept general recommendations as definitive.
If you're currently using PMC, try Art Clay. There are differences in the feel, the shrinkage, the strength, the surface lustre, the product range, the pricing, and the general commercial setup if you're running a serious business.
|SILVER AND GOLD CLAYS|
Art Clay water-based silver and gold clays look and feel like dull grey and dull yellow plasticene or polymer clay, and can be shaped easily using familiar modelling tools and similar techniques. Silver clay comes in regular, slow-dry, and slow-tarnish: gold in regular.
The slow dry silver clay stays malleable for about four times longer than the regular clay: so it's ideal for beginners, or anyone making thin, delicate, or intricate shapes.
The slow tarnish silver clay is slower to tarnish. However, remember that all silver, not just Art Clay silver, tarnishes due to environmental oxidants and pollutants.
Art Clay Silver Clay, after firing, is solid silver, which can be hallmarked as pure 999 silver. Gold clay, after firing, is a solid gold and silver alloy, which can be hallmarked as 22 carat gold: 91.7% gold and 8.3% silver.
Art Clay Pro Silver Clay is a 90% silver-copper alloy with 10% binder so, after firing, it's a 950 silver similar to Sterling Silver. Its surface hardness, bending strength, and scratch resistance are considerably better than regular Art Clay Silver. It's ideal for professional jewellery makers as it offers better design options and greater durability, especially for pieces that are delicate, narrower, or thinner. It does not need to be fired in charcoal.
Art Clay Silver Clay can be combined with a wide range of materials, before firing: beads, copper, dichroic glass, pearls, porcelain, polymer clay, semiprecious gems, and fine silver findings.
Its easy-to-use flexibility makes it a versatile material, ideal for home hobbies, jewellery making, craft businesses, glass studios, ceramic cafes, metalsmiths, modelmakers, and potteries.
|SILVER AND GOLD PASTES|
Art Clay water-based silver clay paste, oil-based silver paste, water-based silver overlay paste, and water-based gold paste, look and feel like dull grey and dull yellow double cream, and can be applied with modelling tools or a soft moist brush. The water-based silver paste comes in regular and slow-tarnish: the gold in regular.
The water-based silver paste has three main uses: to paint onto a mould; to add shape to existing unfired silver clay; or to stick two pieces of unfired silver clay together.
The oil paste has three main uses: to add shape to existing fired silver clay; to stick two pieces of fired silver clay together; or to repair a broken fired silver piece.
The overlay paste has one main use: to add silver highlights, texture, or decoration to fired silver clay, glazed ceramics, glass, or porcelain.
The water-based gold paste has four main uses: to paint onto a mould; to add shape to existing unfired gold clay; to add gold highlights, texture, or decoration to fired silver clay, glazed ceramics, glass, or porcelain; or to stick two pieces of unfired gold clay together.
|SILVER CLAY IN A SYRINGE|
Art Clay water-based silver clay in a syringe looks and feels like dull grey toothpaste, and can be squeezed out to make fine patterns. The silver clay comes in regular and slow tarnish.
It has three main uses: to create delicate patterns, either on unfired silver clay or on a cork clay mould; to add shape to existing unfired silver clay; or to stick two pieces of unfired silver clay together.
|SILVER CLAY AS PAPER|
Art Clay silver clay as paper looks and feels like thick soft aluminium foil, and can be cut easily with a modelling knife or a shaped cutter.
It has two main uses: to create flat, folded, curved, or hollow shapes; or to add shape to existing unfired silver clay. Although it can be used for origami-like shapes, it's thicker than ordinary paper so can't be folded and refolded neatly.
|ART CLAY: NOTES|
All metal clays shrink slightly during firing, so it's important to do some tests before starting on your best ideas. However, it does mean that details and textures become more focused.
All particulates represent a health risk if they're breathed in, so it's very important to wear a HEPA mask when mixing powders, handling charcoal, sanding dried clays, and cleaning out your kiln. Ideally, use protective glasses.
Clays, charcoals, dust masks, electric kilns, hot gloves, magnetic polishers, protective glasses, rotary tumblers, shelf paper, and other tools and materials, are in the on-line shop: use the shop link below the menu bar near the top of the page.