|art clay as clay||or learn about kilns at electrickilns.co.uk|
Art Clay Silver Clay is a clay-like composite material made of fine silver powder and water-soluble organic binders. It looks and feels like dull-grey modelling clay, During firing, the binders vaporise, the powder sinters, and the soft clay turns into real solid 999 silver: ready to wear, give, or sell.
Art Clay Silver Clay fires at 650°C held for 30 minutes or 800°C held for 5 minutes. The fired metal is solid silver, which can be hallmarked as pure 999 silver. A wide range of other materials can be combined with it before firing.
Although you can fire Art Clay Silver on a kitchen gas hob, on a camping gaz ring, or with a butane torch, it's more reliable to use a kiln. To learn more about kilns, transfer to Electric Kilns using the link above the menu bar near the top of the page.
|USING THE CLAY|
The water-based clay comes in a wrapper inside a foil packet. Take as much as you need, rewrap the remainder, and knead the piece until it feels soft and malleable.
You can use almost anything to shape the clay: a modelling knife, a roller, a rubber-tipped clay shaper, a pointed scriber, a texture tool, a shaped cutter, or a damp brush. As you shape the clay, or add more, you can use a little water to smooth the surface or optimise the adhesion.
Whilst working, don't let any clay dry on your tools: keep your brush tips in water and dab them on lint-free cloth just before use. Save scraps of clay in a small airtight container.
After firing, the clay will have shrunk by about 8% in volume so, if the finished size is critical, make your piece that much larger.
Dry silver clay for 24 hours in a warm place, or in a kiln programmed from cool to 150°C then held for 10 minutes: although, with care, you can dry it with a hair drier or a hot air gun, on a central heating radiator, or in a kitchen oven.
After drying, silver clay looks and feels like dull-white plaster. It's strong enough for you to be able to refine the shape using a knife, a scriber, a file, a drill, and abrasives. However, at this stage, thin pieces are brittle, so may snap.
Fire silver clay in a kiln programmed from cool to 650°C, then held for 30 minutes: although, with care, you can fire small pieces on a kitchen gas hob, on a camping gaz ring, or with a butane torch. If your piece doesn't include anything that will crack or melt at a higher temperature, it can be fired at 800°C for 5 minutes.
As it's heated, the organic binders vaporise and small amounts of non-toxic carbon dioxide and water vapour are released: so it's safe to use at home.
After firing, the clay still looks dull, but brushing off the powdery coating reveals bright metal. Your piece is now ready to reshape, drill, stain, polish, tumble, or burnish. Remember, it is metal: it doesn't just look like metal.
|ART CLAY UK|
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