Combine Fine Silver
With Metal Clay

Fine silver wire is pure silver (.999 pure) without any added metals, unlike sterling silver, which is .925 silver plus copper for strength.

Precious metal clay is fine silver and can be fired with pure silver wire without any difficulty.

Sterling silver cannot usually be fired with normal metal clay as the sterling silver will develop fire scale or blacken.

This can be overcome if the sterling silver is first blackened in a kiln or with a butane torch and then immersed in a product called "Silver Prep"to remove the oxidation and clean the silver.

The sterling silver can then be attached to the precious metal clay and fired normally.

This product is also used as a pickle for soldered silver silver.



Silver wire comes in various thicknesses as well as in sheet form and bezel strips.

The chart below sets out the wire gauges used in the US and UK including metric measurements, the bigger the gauge the thinner the wire. You can purchase up to 30 gauge wire which is very thin

AWG in.
AWG mm
Gauge
SWG in.
SWG mm
0.102
2.59
10
0.128
3.25
0.091
2.31
11
0.116
2.95
0.081
2.06
12
0.104
2.64
0.072
1.83
13
0.092
2.34
0.064
1.63
14
0.080
2.03
0.057
1.45
15
0.072
1.83
0.051
1.30
16
0.064
1.63
0.045
1.14
17
0.056
1.42
0.040
1.02
18
0.048
1.22
0.036
0.914
19
0.040
1.02
0.032
0.813
20
0.036
0.914
0.029
0.737
21
0.032
0.813
0.025
0.635
22
0.028
0.711
0.023
0.584
23
0.024
0.610
0.020
0.508
24
0.022
0.559
0.018
0.457
25
0.020
0.508
0.016
0.406
26
0.018
0.457

When using sheet or bezel strip you may need to roughen the surface of the sliver so than the metal clay can grip the silver.

To prevent silver wire from slipping out of metal clay you can bend the end or slightly flatten it so that it can grip the pmc silver.

Silver wire is usually "dead soft" and a number of strands may need to be used for some pmc jewelry projects.

Bending silver wire will cause it to harden and stiffen, the thicker the wire the quicker it will harden and become more difficult to work.

Wire cutters, flat needle nose pliers, round nose and flat jaw pliers will come in handy for working with the wire.

There is a range of pure silver findings designed specially for precious metal clay jewelry.

The photo below has a small sample of the items available. Also on the market a riveting tool and rivets for use on metal clay.



Return From Fine Silver Wire To Precious Metal Clay
Return To Home Page