Textures

Hand Crafted Silver Jewelry by Hadar Jacobson
918 Ventura Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707-2123, (510) 528-4193
hadar@pacbell.net - www.artinsilver.com


 Jewelry from Metal Clay

 

What is Metal Clay?

Metal Clay is silver, gold, bronze, and copper that comes in the form of clay. Silver and gold clay is a patented material developed by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Aida Chemicals in Japan in the early 1990s, emerging in the United States around 1996. Bronze clay was introduced in 2008 by Metal Adventures, Inc., in the United States. The principal ingredient is microscopic particles of metal, only 20 microns in diameter. The rest of the material consists of water and an organic binder.  MC can be worked exactly like clay. Firing the material in a kiln completely removes all of the water and binder, and the whole piece shrinks. The final piece consists of pure silver, 22K gold, pure bronze or copper. The finishing is done using traditional metal fabrication techniques. 

   

There are two kinds of metal clay, high-shrinkage clay (standard PMC), that shrinks by 28%-30%, and low-shrinkage clay (PMCPlus, PMC3, Art Clay, and Art Clay 650) that shrinks by 10%-12%. High-shrinkage clay is preferred for textures and details, whereas low-shrinkage clay is preferred for strength. 

Gold metal clay is low-shrinkage clay. Gold paste is used for accent. It is applied to the silver after firing and fired again with a torch. BronzeClay™ shrinkage is inconsistent. It is high-shrinkage clay for flat pieces, and low-shrinkage for 3D pieces.

Some natural and laboratory grown gemstones can be set in a piece before firing without suffering any damage during the firing process. All gemstones can be set in a piece after firing. 

Unlike sheet metal or ceramic clay, any piece made of metal clay can be recycled at any point before firing. Metal clay does not require conditioning and does not get stone-hard. It is therefore open to experimentation without fear of waste.

 

Safety

 

Metal clay has been certified by an independent testing facility to be safe in any phase of its use and to conform to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standard D4236. It is safe to handle and is certified by its manufacturer to cause no risk to adults, children or pets.

 

 

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