I have only used pmc silver clay up until now but wanted to try the base metals. Inhave bought a few different ones to try. I found this clay incredibly difficult to work with. I tried all the advice on line but to no avail. ****RESPONSE FROM METAL CLAY**** We're sorry to hear you have had problems. Base metal clays (copper, bronze, brass, iron and so on) are very, very, different to fine silver metal clay. Fine silver metal clay from the most well known brands, like Art Clay Silver, has been tested and advanced over the years, to a stage where there is pretty much a 100% success rate in every firing. Base metal clay requires a little more work to get there - but when you do, you are rewarded with gorgeous colours, amazing strength, and a exciting new material to add to your range! There are two very important steps in succeeding with base metal clay. First: Read about the brand (and version!) of clay you're using. Research it well. There are differences. Most need a kiln, but not all (Art Clay Copper is the only one I can confidently say you can fire with a torch). Some need firing on a open shelf, followed by firing in carbon. Some can be fired without carbon. Some must go straight into carbon. Make sure you follow the correct instructions. And next: Don't spend ages making a fabulous piece, and then put in the kiln without being certain you have the right schedule for your kiln. MAKE TEST PIECES. You MUST make test pieces. This is how you learn about the clay - and importantly - your kiln. All kilns are different and your kiln might require minor adjustments to the target temperature you set. Do these in strips about 1 cm wide, and in three different thicknesses; 0.5, 1 and 1.5mm (2, 4 and 6 cards) are a good example. Fire these as per the product instructions, and then test three things which should tell you have well the firing worked: 1 - drop it on a metal surface and listen. Does it have a ringing sound, like metal, or was it more of a thud? You want a metal ring. 2 - bend the strip.Try to shape it into a U-shape. Is it bendable, malleable, or did it snap straight away? You want to be able to bend (most) base metal clays. 3 - mix a little washing-up liquid with water, and put a drop on the fired strip. Does it sit on top, or eventually "soak" in to the metal? You want it to stay on top (however, even with a successful firing, the water can sometimes be absorbed. This isn't a "guaranteed test", just use it as a guide). If these three tests weren't successful you might want to increase your firing temperature. But, you also need to look into how they were fired - what container, which carbon, and where was the piece placed in the carbon - do you have hot or cool spots in your kiln? Join Facebook metal clay groups and ask questions, look at our Learn more page. The article below which was written many years ago by CoolTools. Whilst it specifically refers to BRONZclay (one of the first base metal clays to hit the market), the information is still very useful and will help you understand base metal clays. BRONZclay Firing - Cool Tools https://goo.gl/o7tXg1
The faster way to fire BRONZclay™. FASTfire BRONZclay™ drastically cuts your firing time, perfect for those times when you just want to bring your creations to life a bit quicker. With FASTfire, you can fire your pieces in 2 hours.
FASTfire BRONZclay™ provides an incredible artistic range. And, because it's bronze, it's so affordable, it can be used to sculpt large pieces and create specialised tools - it can even be thrown on a potter's wheel to shape bronze hollowware. It can be pinched, rolled, sculpted and manipulated. In its dried state, it's still highly flexible and easy to carve—an ideal canvas for applying details and finishing touches prior to firing.
When fired in a kiln, the binder vaporises, leaving a solid, pure bronze object that can be sawn, shaped, drilled, sanded, patinaed or soldered using traditional jewellery tools and techniques.
This exciting medium offers a new world of possibilities for jewellery makers, artists and sculptors.
PLEASE NOTE: This clay has to be fired in a kiln!
Did you know we stock embeddable bronze findings? 'Embeddable' means you can add them to your clay in the wet stage and fire all at once.
Click here to see our full range of embeddable findings.
I find this clay the best of the bronzes, and I have tried most of them . It is easy to work with , does not dry out too quickly and easy to join bits on with slip . As for firing ! I find all the clays other than the silver ones unpredictable , this clay however seems to work , I fire in a carbon tray for 30 minutes at about 300 ,to burn off the binder, then I cover with carbon and do a second firing for up to 2 hours depending on the thickness . The only problem with this method is that the clay tends to get marked when covered with the carbon , when I have tried to do it all at once it has not sintered or it has burnt .I just file the marks out . ( I do tend to do quite thick bits or large spheres.)Will buy more of this clay to play some more and perfect the firing. The shrinkage is less than I thought it would be and the colour is really good - looks like gold , I use it a lot with silver clay to get contrasts . ( I fire the bronze first and then add silver . )
I was disappointed to receive the clay and it was dry and crumbly but after some work the end results were good
Lovely alternative to the ever increasing silver clay product range.