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METALCLAY

Metal clay is a clay-like medium used to make jewellery, beads and small sculpture. It consists of very small particles of metals (such as silver, gold, platinum, or copper) mixed with an organic binder and water. Alloys such as bronze or steel are also available.

Metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using moulds. After drying, silverclay can be fired in a variety of ways including in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove. To fire the other metalclays a professional kiln is needed. During firing the binder burns away, leaving the pure, sintered metal. Shrinkage of between 8% and 20% occurs (depending on the product used), but this is exploited by artisans to produce very fine detail.

Silver metal clay results in objects containing 0.999 pure silver - aka fine silver.
Lump metal clay is sold in sealed packets to keep it moist and workable. Hadar's Clay is sold in powder which you have to mix with destilled water to make your clay. The silver versions are also available as a softer paste in a pre-filled syringe which can be used to produce extruded forms, in small jars of slip and as paper-like sheets, from which most of the moisture has been removed.