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Showing FAQs 35of 35    

FAQ/Answer

After a student works hard on their first piece, they often say,

Yes. There is a big difference between what your piece looks like when it is still in the clay stage and what it looks like after it is fired. I always tell my students that it is imperative that they fire their first pieces. I guarantee that if they ... [More]

Can I enamel on the metal clays?

Yes. You might have read that it is not recommended to enamel on sterling. There again, it is the alloys that cause the problems.

Fine silver is an excellent source for enameling. PMC artist Mary Ellin D'Agostino has even developed a new tech ... [More]

Can I fire the clay with sterling silver findings?

The new low-fire clays (650 for Art Clay Silver and PMC3 for PMC) mix well with sterling silver. I have had only one case where they were incompatible. I now always test the sterling silver finding or sterling silver wire I want to use with a little ... [More]

Can I fire the metal clays without a kiln?

Yes. You can use a butane torch or PMC's hot pot. In my classes I teach how to use the torch. However, I do not recommend it. I have had too many students who rely on the torch and have had irreparable failures. If you under-fire, the piece will not ... [More]

Can I make what I see at the store?

Depending on your artistic ability, yes. If the piece were cast by the thousands, you could probably buy it cheaper than you could make it. However, if the piece you want to duplicate is an expensive one-of-a-kind art piece, you could get into troubl ... [More]

Can I really make metal clay jewelry if I am not an artist?

I strongly believe that inside everyone is an artist just waiting to be discovered. I have had students that had never done anything "crafty" before taking my class. A lot of them go on to sell their work starting with friends and co-workers, and som ... [More]

Can I refill the syringe with paste?

Yes, but there will be air bubbles that might ruin your design. I keep one syringe that I have refilled with thick paste that I use as a filler. It is just as good as my sludge pot.

Sallie Bly

... [More]

Can you fire silver clay in a glass or ceramic kiln?

Yes. You can fire silver clay in any kiln that will reach 1650 degrees F. Small kilns are better suited for silver clay because the clay takes up so little space in the firing chamber. Large kilns can fire silver, but they waste electricity since the ... [More]

Does the clay come in gold?

Yes, gold comes in clay and paste. However, a good alternative to gold is Kuem Bu. This is a special gold leaf that adheres to the silver by a hot embossing method. It is 22K gold.

Sallie Bly

... [More]

Does the quantity of silver clay in a piece affect the amount of firing time needed?

No. The reason is that silver clay pieces are so very small compared to typical ceramic ware. Small kilns such as the Paragon SC-2 hardly even register the thermal mass of silver clay projects.

... [More]

How do you fire silver clay in a manual kiln that has a Kiln Sitter?

PMC+: cone 010, hold for ten minutes

Art Clay Silver: cone 011, hold for ten minutes

1) Select the cone number above for the silver clay you are firing. Place that cone on the kiln shelf. Select a cone for the Kiln Sitter that will ... [More]

How do you get a mirror finish on silver?

By Janae Cook

One of the most desirable finishes for the Art Clay Silver is a perfect mirror finish. But getting that mirror finish is not exactly easy, especially by hand! And what exactly is a mirror finish anyway?

A mirror finish ... [More]

How do you recommend storing silver clay?

Store silver clay in a small plastic bag instead of plastic food wrap. After you’ve used all the clay, turn the bag inside out. The thin layer of clay inside the bag will flake off. Collect the flakes and place them in a small jar with several drops ... [More]

How fast can you cool silver clay?

If the pieces are made of only silver clay and do not include stones or glass, you can remove them from the kiln with tongs and quench them in water.

The elements must be turned off before you begin. Do not remove the silver clay pieces whil ... [More]

How fast can you fire silver clay?

If you are firing pieces that contain only silver clay (PMC or Art Clay Silver), you can program a FULL rate. If the piece contains stones or glass, you may need to slow down the firing.

... [More]

How long is the clay good for? What do I do if I open the package and it is dried out?

The clay is good indefinitely. Until it is fired, it can be reconstituted and reworked into something else.

I had a 20-gram piece that I wasn't happy with. I kept thinking that if I just added one more thing here and there, it would be great. ... [More]

How long should cork clay dry before firing?

Cork clay should dry about two days before you coat with silver clay. Otherwise moisture inside the clay can cause silver clay pieces to break during firing.

... [More]

How many coats does it take to coat a leaf, and why does the leaf curl when I am painting it?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer without being in a classroom. It depends on the size of the leaf, the structure of the leaf's vein, the end use of the fired leaf, and how thick your paste is.

Your first few coats are vital to y ... [More]

How much does the clay shrink?

The clay will shrink approximately 10 percent. PMC makes a ruler that allows you to create your piece taking that shrinkage into account.

Sallie Bly

... [More]

How should you fire silver clay for maximum strength?

Don’t be disheartened if a fired silver clay piece is brittle. You can strengthen it by firing again using a temperature and hold time shown below. You can also repair and re-fire broken pieces.

Silver clay is composed of silver particles hel ... [More]

I don't want to teach, so why would I want to be certified?

There is a greater demand for classes than there are teachers and places to learn. When you take a certification class to teach, not only do you get the recognition of being a certified teacher and a 35% discount off the clay, but you learn many tech ... [More]

I have read that gemstones can be fired directly into the clay. Can I fire my diamond in it?

Most CZs can be fired into your projects. I have seen several failures with stones that were supposedly tested for the heat required for the metal clays. One beautiful diamond-like CZ became cloudy and had an opal appearance--very attractive and fort ... [More]

I know from firing my big ceramics kiln that it is necessary to keep the vent holes open for oxidation and the life of the elements. What of the single vent plug in the SC-2?

Silver clay produces almost no fumes, so it is okay to leave the plug in the vent hole. However, you should remove the plug when firing cork clay and other fillers that burn out during the firing. Air enters the kiln through the edges of the door ... [More]

If a piece breaks after firing, can it be soldered?

Yes. However, Art Clay Silver has a product called Oil Paste that works with pieces that have been fired and burnished. It is like soldering in the kiln - easy and successful.

Sallie Bly

... [More]

If I don't like what I make, can I melt it down and sell it for scrap?

Yes. However, I always advise my students that no matter how much they dislike something they have made in metal clay, there is someone out there who will love it and pay them more for it than they would get as reconstituted silver. One of the design ... [More]

Is Art Clay Silver sterling?

No. Sterling has alloys added to the fine silver. Art Clay Silver is 99.9% pure fine silver. As a note, most people who are allergic to silver are actually allergic to one of the alloys. Therefore, they are able to wear fine silver.

Sallie Bl ... [More]

My silver clay piece cracked after it was fired. How can it be repaired?

A fired silver clay piece may have broken due to hidden cracks rather than to a low firing temperature. Handle unfired pieces with care. They crack easily, and the cracks are often difficult to see.

To repair a broken piece, first clean it. T ... [More]

Should silver clay be fired on a separate shelf from glass?

Yes. The silver contamination in the shelf can affect the color of glass.

... [More]

Should you include a hole in a silver clay piece that is filled with cork clay?

Yes. A hole in the silver clay is needed to clean out the ash left over from the cork clay.

... [More]

The silver clay shown in magazines sometimes is shiny, sometimes has a matte look, and sometimes it is colored. Do all of these come from the same clay, and how do they get the colors?

The silver finish is determined by how you work with the clay both before and after firing. A high shine is achieved with sandpaper, rotary drill using 3M radial bristle discs, magnetic burnishers, or just good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Mos ... [More]

What happens to the leaf and other combustible objects in the kiln?

Straws, leaves, cork clay and other natural products we use to support the clay burn away. Sometimes they leave residue in the kiln. Occasionally use a small computer vacuum cleaner or canned air to clean out the kiln interior.

Sallie Bly < ... [More]

What is Art Clay Silver?

Art Clay Silver is a pure metal powder mixed with non-toxic binders and water. When fired, the binders burn away and leave pure 99.9% silver.

More practically it is a product that feels like clay and behaves like clay. However, when it is fir ... [More]

What is the difference between PMC and Art Clay Silver?

Both companies manufacture metal clay. They are like Pepsi and Coke--similar but slightly different. Both companies have clay, syringes, paste and paper; both have high-fire and low-fire products. However, they each have unique products that the othe ... [More]

Why did my silver clay melt in the kiln?

The silver clay fired too hot. Reduce the temperature by about 25 degrees F (14 degrees C). If the piece melted even though you programmed the correct temperature, the thermocouple in your kiln may be a little inaccurate. You can compensate by loweri ... [More]

Why is my silver clay brittle after being fired?

The silver clay did not fire hot enough, or the hold was too short. You may be able to save the piece by firing again to the correct temperature and hold time. Fire a test piece 25 degrees F (14 degrees C) hotter.

... [More]

Showing FAQs 35of 35    


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