Metal clay is one of the most exciting developments in the world of jewelry-making. Only on the market since the mid 90's, this special medium offers unique artistic opportunities. The fine silver metal clay is absolutely gorgeous! It fires a pure white and has the brightest, cleanest silver gleam. I love it. It would be difficult to imagine anything I would see as more beautiful. Now there is 925 Sterling PMC! The advances are amazing. It is a wonderful product. The end result is more of a grey silver than the fine silver but gorgeous and you hallmark as sterling or 925. Woo Hoo!!!! Celie Fago has worked tirelesly with the fine silver and sterling to create an alloy that it stronger (more like sterlint) but is fired without carbon on an open shelf for a shorter time at a lower temperature. It is being referred to as 960 at this time. We are all having the best experience with this new silver clay. Stay tuned for more information.
Well, there are brands of the fine silver/sterling hybrid flying out of the metalclay world. At this point I'd suggest Googling 960 silver clay to find them all because there may be more than I am even aware of right now.
Check out HadarJacobson's information packed blog where you can purchase her very own HADAR'S COPPER CLAY in powder form with full instructions as well as her powdered HADAR'S BRONZE CLAY, HADAR'S WHITE BRONZE CLAY, HADAR'S STEEL CLAY, HADAR'S PEARL GREY STEEL CLAY, and WHITE SATIN; most are available in quick fire. As of now these are the only base metal clays I use. Genius! I have not had an opportunity to try the Prometheus or Goldie base metal clays as yet, but the reviews are good so far. Hadar also has a recipe to make the 925 STERLING SILVER CLAY you can use your dried up clay for this!
There are now several varieties of bronze clay, copper clay and other alloys. The only drawback I have discovered is that some people do have skin reactions to non fine silver metal clays. Its all a work in progress of course. I, unfortunately happen to be one of those people. I dabble in base metal but silver and gold are my focus.
Lisa Cain of the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery was the first to publish her formally assayed recipe to create the 925 sterling silver clay. Many have followed to create individual formulas. We owe many thanks to you Lisa for your hard work and dedication.
Of course, new and redesigned tools and products are being developed specific to all this new age material. There are several sources available, each working toward its own niche. It is wonderful to be one of those involved in spreading the word about metal clay...
AND...Ta Da!!! Today there is a combination of the fine silver clays and sterling clays in equal parts that can be fired open air. That is such a relief after all the carbon mess. Celie Fago began mixing this herself and now Bill Struve of Metal Adventures has come out with a pre mixed version, as well as Mitsubishi Materials who originally created PMC. Celie was working on this back in 2012-13 and it caught on. Hey, new product new market. Art Clay Silver has a 950 Art Clay which is basically the same thing. 950 has always been a Platinum hallmark so everyone else was using the 960 instead. These new hybrid silver clays have so much more strength than the fine silver. They are a bit greyer in color but not enough to be a bother. I do, however, prefer the super white of the fine silver for bridal jewelry.
Certified in both PMC® and Art Clay®, I teach classes and private lessons in both products. They are similar and unique. I travel to art and craft shows and fairs to teach workshops which is one of my favorite things to do. So satisfying.
I have put together a kit of those precious tools I found after many wasted purchases. It seems useless to buy all those things that will be replaced. They just end up rolling around in a drawer. Save your money for the clay!!
I'm the inventor of the LiL BeLLA humidifier. It has saved lots of wasted time and clay. Everyone loves them!
upper left: "Wristlinks" by Donna Lewis is a 2008 Saul Bell Design Award Competition Finalist.
gallery upper left: "Queen's Ransom" by Donna Lewis is a 2007 Saul Bell Design Award Competition Finalist.
lower center: "Dueling Pearls" 30 Minute Earrings, Lark Books, Sterling Publishing