Using Precious Metal Clays
In Jewelry Design

Precious metal clays allow the home jewelry maker the ability to create original pure silver jewelry designs.

The scope and range of these materials in creating hand crafted items is very wide.



Since the introduction of PMC from Mitsubishi and Art Clay Silver from Aida Chemicals, clay has evolved and now comes in a similar range of items from these companies.

The various types of clay available are as follows:

Since the introduction of PMC from Mitsubishi and Art Clay Silver from Aida Chemicals, clay has evolved and now comes in a similar range of items from these companies.

The various types of clay available are as follows:

Lump Clays are the clays with which you roll, texture, shape, and mold your designs into life.

The Original Precious Metal Clay, which is still available, had a high proportion of binder and water and as a result was more fragile once it had been fired.

Shrinkage is about 30% with a higher and longer firing rate when compared to the next generation of clays.

This clay is not recommended for use in items, which may be subject to high rates of wear and tear such as rings or bracelets.

However, it is still in general use and is used when fine detail is required. Clean crisp designs can be carved into dried unfired clay.

Standard Art Clay Silver and PMC+ are the next generation of clays.

Both these clays are denser and stronger with similar firing temperatures and reduced shrinkage.

Users rate these clays as great all round.

Low Fire Silver Clay followed next and is seen as the strongest of the clays.

Firing at a lower temperature with less shrinkage you are able to include a greater variety of materials into the clay, which was not possible with the higher firing clays.

Seen as one of the favorite clays.

Slow Dry Silver Clay stays moist longer and works very well when extruded from a syringe.

It can be used to produce clean designs; it can be twisted or braided if required.

Due to using a different binder it cannot be mixed with other clays.

Paper Clay comes in thin, flexible sheets.

Using a different binder it contains no water and does not dry out.

It can be bent, folded, cut, ripped or punched with a paper punch.

Used for hinges and other intricate design details it can also be laminated to create a thicker piece.

Do not use too much water with this or it may break down.

Do not mix with left over’s with other clays as it has a different binder.

Syringe Clay as its name implies, comes in a syringe with a variety of tips available.

This is an ideal choice for creating all styles of patterns and fine designs. It is great for filling in all types of cracks and dips.

Great for creating bezels for cabochons.

Once pressed from the syringe it holds its shape.

Paste/Slip is the all purpose clay for gluing unfired pieces together.

It will also glue a fired piece to an unfired piece.

The paste comes in a jar and can be thinned by adding drops of water.

Breaks can be repaired; small cracks filled, texture added and the surface smoothed with this product.

The above are the major clays in use today.

There are other specialty clays such as Oil Paste, Overlay Paste Gold Clay, and Gold Paste, which are available for special applications.

All of these clays have a place in the creation of pmc jewelry as they allow for great flexibility in designing your jewelry item.




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