Metal Clay Play Date!


Where: 15004 Kevin Lane, Austin, TX 78734
When: November 1st, 2018
Time: TBD
Kat: 512-981-8924 Keri:


Metal clay consists of metal powder and a clay binder that burns off during firing in a process called “sintering.” Through drying and sintering, the metal shrinks and condenses into solid metal.

Some faceted stones can be pushed into the wet clay and fired in place. Adding embellishments like fused glass or stones require a low-fire clay that fires at a lower temperature.

Metal clay can shrink quite a bit, and the shrinkage rate varies by type of clay. Fine silver clay can be easily enameled because it doesn’t oxidize and turn dark. Other metals like sterling silver, bronze, and copper require firing pans of a charcoal media which prevents this oxidation. Because fine silver doesn’t oxidize, it can also be fired with a torch or on a gas stove.

Design Considerations

In the beginning, focus on designs that are a little more organic and rustic. Rolled textures are the easiest technique for new metal clay artists, and a simple pendant or earrings can be created this way. Embrace “imperfection,” and you’ll be happier with your pieces.

Pendant Ideas

Pendants can be as simple as rolling metal clay on a rubber or plastic texture plate (like a rubber stamp) and attaching a bail (part at the top for attaching a chain), to mixed metal pieces or jewelry that incorporates your fused glass pieces.


Ring Ideas

There are certain techniques used to make sure that metal clay rings are strong enough to withstand normal wear and tear. The easiest techniques involve rolled textures that are formed around a fine silver band or fired on plaster “plugs” so that the ring doesn’t shrink.

You’ll want to make sure the band is thick enough so that it doesn’t deform.


Earring & Other Ideas

Some ideas using bronze clay…


Materials and Tools

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Powdered Metal Clay

A woman named Hadar created a powdered metal clay that you mix when you need it. A problem I always had with metal clay is it would dry out, so you had to re-hydrate it.


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