Must Have Metal Clay Tools and Supplies

Like any form of jewelry making, there seems to be an endless number of tools and supplies available for the metal clay artist, and vendors come up with new gizmos and gadgets on a regular basis. It would be great to be able to purchase every single one of them. Of course, this is not really possible for the average home-crafter or even professional metal clay artist. So, we have to think long and hard about what sorts of products are necessities and maybe even become creative and figure out...

Cone System Metal Clay Firing Method

The SpeedFire Cone System, as pictured in Figure 3.18, is made up of a fiber cone that is connected to a tank of propane, and therefore, since propane burns at around 3450 degrees F, it becomes plenty hot enough to fire all types of metal clay, not just the low-fire varieties. It can also fire up to 100 grams of metal clay. Now, propane can actually become too hot and end up turning your silver clay into silver puddles, so this system also includes a pyrometer, which is a device used to control...

Glass and Metal Clay

Leikyn Huckins has a wonderful spot (see Figure 4.21) for working on her glass and metal clay creations, and she also has an extremely supportive and understanding husband who obviously admires her creativity. Originally occupying a small corner of her husband's home office, Leikyn's space has slowly grown to where she occupies most of the 11 x 13 foot room, and her husband now has just enough space in there for his desk. Which is at it should be, don't you think Her kiln is tucked away in the...

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Metal clay tools, 24, 64 smoothing wet clay, 102 paper protector, forming work surface, 27, 63 Paragon FireFly kiln, top-loading kiln, 57 patinas Happiness pendant, 151-155 ID Me bracelet, 172-175 liver of sulfur, 37, 111 metal clay enhancements, 110-112 product safety guidelines, 67 Ruffles and Old Lace bracelet, 163-166 Sunbeam necklace, 159-162 Peacock, Sarah Aspen Leaf necklace, 234 Aspen Leaf Pendant with Stone, 90 gallery collection, 230-231 Namaste pendant, 16 pendant, 110 pearls,...

Clasps and Hooks

After assembling all the jewelry components together to make a necklace, bracelet, or anklet, one final and very important element is the way you plan to fasten these jewelry pieces, and this is where clasps and hooks of various styles come into the mix. Years ago, findings on most jewelry pieces were pretty ho-hum. Their primary purpose was utilitarian, and they looked utilitarian and nothing more. But today, they are far from that they can add a lot of pizzazz to a jewelry piece while at the...

Adding Stones

J LIKE TRADITIONAL metal work, you can also include gemstones in your metal clay jewelry pieces. You can add stones either before or after the firing process, but there are some limitations if you want to fire with the stones in the clay. While some stones like diamonds and rubies can generally deal with high temperatures, they can have inclusions in them that you can't see with the naked eye, and if heated, you could get cracks in the stones. Very often synthetic stones or laboratory grown...

Maple Leaf Necklace by Cyndi Lavin

Cyndi Lavin is busy living a mixed media life in central Massachusetts. Along with metal clay, she works with a large variety of other media and techniques. Cyndi strongly believes that life and art are intertwined, that we are all works of art, designed to be creative beings, and that life consists of discovering the things that we meant to create. She enjoys sharing her art adventures through her websites and weblogs www.mazeltovjewelry.com, www.wildestdreamsdesigns.com, and...

Making Clay Bail

ADDING A BAIL TO SOME jewelry components is a way to both add decorative design elements to a piece and provide a way to connect items like chains to pendants. One way to do this relates back to the snake technique previously described. After rolling out a clay snake, use a craft knife and cut the length you need, as demonstrated in Figure 5.36. Clay rolled out into a long snake can work as a bail for pendants and other jewelry components. Clay rolled out into a long snake can work as a bail...

Paste and Organic Materials

Jewelry With Organic Materials

FOR A TRADITIONAL METAL technique such as lost wax casting, using organic materials is nothing new. Instead of a wax or plastic mold, the jewelry maker can substitute any number of organic materials including leaves, flowers, and sticks. This is because the organic material disappears during the burn-out process just like the wax or plastic does. In a very similar fashion, the same idea can be accomplished with metal clay. Metal clay is layered over the organic material, dried, and fired. Paste...

Changing Table Turns into Firing Table

How Set Changing Table

Stay at home mom, Amanda, from Vancouver, British Columbia, has found a resourceful way to sneak a little metal clay time into her busy life. In between keeping up with her young toddler as well as all the housework, she still manages to sell some of her metal clay and other jewelry through her website at www.pomomamadesign.com. Who else but a mom would realize that a changing table, which is no longer needed for the baby, is the perfect spot to fire her metal clay Brilliant You can see in...

Liver of Sulfur on Fired Clay

Liver of sulfur is a natural product, but you still will need some ventilation when you work with it because it is pretty stinky stuff. It smells like rotten eggs, so while the smell won't necessarily harm you, it is not very pleasant. Most jewelry vendors sell liver of sulfur and you can sometimes find it at hardware stores as well. It normally comes in a jar, and it looks sort of like little dark green pebbles. However, some vendors also sell it in liquid form. You can make various degrees of...

Burnishing Clay

CREATING FRICTION is one of the easiest ways to get an initial polish on your metal clay. This is called burnishing. By rubbing the fired clay pieces with a burnishing brush and some soapy water or some water with baking soda in it, you will be amazed at how bright it will look after only a few minutes. Part of the reason why metal clay can be cleaned this way is because it is fine silver. Sterling silver has alloys mixed in with it such as copper , so it takes more work to shine it. Figure...

From Cars to Clay

Very few people appear to use their garages these days to house their cars. Actually, for those who do, it seems like a waste of space, and Jocelyn L. Cooley would tend to agree. With a little okay a lot of help from her electrical contractor husband, Jocelyn converted two-thirds of her garage into a metal clay studio. Now that is some well-used space Her studio includes full spectrum lighting, a circuit dedicated to her kiln an issue many metal clay artists have to deal with , a sink, and even...

Hot Pot Metal Clay Firing Method

This ceramic hot-pot kit, pictured in Figure 3.10, is designed with PMC3 in mind. It is a possible alternative to a torch if you aren't ready to pick one of those up or if you have three-dimensional items, like beads, that might be a little tricky to fire using a torch. The pot consists of a small pot filled with fuel that burns inside of the bottom of the pot. It takes about 15 minutes to fire a piece of metal clay that is 20 grams or less, no larger than a silver dollar or fifty cent piece....

Multi Purpose Metal Clay Tools and Supplies

Paper Clay Jewelry

F 'hose artists wh tend to think outside of the box the kind that have that MacGyver gene in them there are a lot of materials you can use for metal clay work that normally have a totally different purpose to them. These multi-purpose items are not only easy to use but often easy on the pocket book too. In fact, metal clay artists are some of the more inventive jewelry makers around. I'll show you a few items you'll probably be able to find around your house right now that are perfect for...

Metal Clay Jewelry Design Advantages

N hat you have a better understanding of the large assortment of clays available for making jewelry and I only touched on a few, not all of the types vendors carry as well as the general cost of the clay, you may be wondering why you'd use clay to begin with. What are the advantages of using metal clay versus just making jewelry with regular hard metal The answer to that question depends a lot on the type of jewelry you are making, but by and large, metal clay provides a way to create very...

Gas Stove Metal Clay Firing Method

Firing Metal Clay Hob

As low-tech as you can possibly get, one method for firing low-fire metal clay as suggested by the manufacturers of Art Clay is to literally use your stove top see Figure 3.3 . Due to the temperature limitations natural gas burns at around 2000 degrees F , only low-fire clay can be fired using this method. Now, before I go on about this process, let me say that I have my reservations about doing this mainly because of ventilation considerations. I'll talk about safety issues later on in this...

Types of Precious Metal

Next, let's take a look at some of the metal clay products available from Mitsubishi Materials. As with the Art Clay products I discussed, I say some because since both companies come out with new products regularly, this is not meant to be a definitive product list. The product name is Precious Metal Clay and is often referred to as its acronym, PMC. You probably recognize the name Mitsubishi from the car industry. Along with automotive products and PMC, this company manufactures electronics,...

Types of Art Clay

Art Clay Gold Paste

Ers of metal clay, there are various types and forms of the clay such as lump, syringe, and even paper. Let's look at some of the metal clay products available from each manufacturer. First, let's look at Art Clay. As I mentioned before, Art Clay is made by Aida Chemical Industries, which is located in Japan. It started producing this product for Japanese resale in 1994. They are considered a green company because they use recycled metals for their clay. Some of these metals originally were...

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 About Metal Types of Art Types of Precious Metal Note on Low-Fire Metal The Cost of Metal Metal Clay Jewelry Design Metal Clay for the Jewelry Going Pro with Metal Chapter 2 Tools and Supplies for Metal Clay 17 Must-Have Metal Clay Tools and Supplies 18 Multi-Purpose Metal Clay Tools and Supplies 23 Handy Dandy Metal Clay Tools and Supplies 29 Starting with a Starter Chapter 3 Metal Clay Firing Equipment and Techniques 41 Important Firing Safety The Right Firing Method for You...