A Closer Look at Metal Clay
Metal Clay are used in both small decorative items and jewelry making crafts and arts. In the jewelry making industry it is made from water mixed with powdered metal and methyl cellulose, an organic material that is non-toxic, non-allergenic and a food additive too. It handles much the same than modeling clay traditionally used and finished the same way, by ending up with a solid object. There are various metal types available and each has its own firing requirements and these include steel, bronze, copper, gold alloy, gold, silver alloy and fine silver.
Beginner clay artists should start with the easiest metal clay to work with and that is the fine silver clay. It has several advantages including low cost, many firing options and it could also be done with a butane torch. Regardless of the metal clay used however the optimal way is to fire it in a jewelry kiln using the specific metal’s firing method.
Fine Silver Clay has three types, metal magic silver clay, art clay silver and PMC. What makes it outstanding is that its firing options include a jewelry kiln, enameling kiln, gas burner and torch with the minimum firing time only two minute until transformation.
Bronze clay is for experienced artists as it is not only the strongest metal clay but also the hardest and requiring longer firing times too. The other point to remember is that the firing time would depend on the thickness of the completed piece. The firing would be faster when it is thin and thick pieces fired at slow speed. Any bronze clay item however will fire for a minimum three hours regardless of thickness.
Silver Alloy Clay is a mixture of PMC PRO, and PMC Sterling and compare d to pure fine silver, much stronger and here artists and jewelers alike have the ability to create delicate, thin pieces. It is fired in an activated carbon filled container and then fired inside a kiln. The majority of pieces are fired in an hour.