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Metal Clay

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Taogem
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« on: April 29, 2008, 01:53:54 pm »

I am going to get started with metal clay work.

Hunting around for a class near by. Joined a couple of forums.

Just wanted to share this link.

Maybe there are other members who will find metal clay interesting and we can sorta learn together and share our trials and tribulations, and successes.





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cababineau
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2008, 05:23:50 am »

Hi,
I would be more than happy to help others on this forum out with their questions on metal clay and construction.

I check here most days. so can get back to you fairly quickly. (lurker) ;D

Carol
Art Clay Senior Instructor
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cababineau
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 11:24:10 am »

I am posting a couple of pictures of stones I bought from George. They are set in metal clay and one has copper riveted on!

Carol

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Taogem
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2008, 04:22:26 pm »

Really beautiful Carol !

I just can't say enough how much I enjoy seeing what folks are doing with my stones.

I really appreciate you posting these.

I am really excited about getting started with the metal clay.

Thanks for the links you emailed and I did follow through with them.

I know there will be someone responding that offer classes in Spokane. Just a matter of time..  :)

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Taogem
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 05:06:38 pm »

Carol,

I got a response back from the Metal Clay Association.

They had no info for me about classes in the Spokane area.

I am going to start making some phone calls...  :)

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seth
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 06:02:42 pm »

Nice!! I am trying to play catch up with the forum. I have used the metal clay and it works good with a nice kiln. I have some opal matrix that will take the heat to fuse the clay and not damage the opal silica color.. I have not tried it yet with the clay but I have tempered opal pieces to high temps already.
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ralph
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 08:14:16 am »

after looking at carols awesome work, i would'nt mind learning some of this metal clay stuff. thanks for showing us your work.   ralph
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cababineau
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 08:44:26 am »

Thank you! I'm always happy to show people what they can do with metal clay............with practice.
It does take a while to get to the point of making pendants with bezels. The material is different and has a learning curve, but don't let that stop you! I don't.

There are some stones that you can fire into the clay as opposed to using a bezel too.

Carol
http://www.artclaystudio.com
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freeform
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 09:53:55 am »

When i learned silver, what i most enjoyed was fusing scrap. Metal clay i feel has this same apeal to me becasue its clay, image what can be formed and reformed? 

Does metal clay run when over heated?  Or does it just burn and dry out. Is it possible to combine sterling or fine silver with silver metal clay?

Seth, you mentioned about an opal taking the heat, the clay is normally fired without the stone in it? Or does metal clay have this leiway, if the stone can take the heat as Seth puts it?

nice work indeed Carol, thanks for sharing it and awnsering any questions in advance.  O0
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cababineau
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 10:07:59 am »

With metal clay, you only need to have an imagination and a drive to experiment.

Metal clay when overheated will also run, but does not act like sterling and you can but it is hard to do (usually two torches needed) to get it to flow into an ingot type shape. Because the clay consists of small particles of silver or gold, it has a tendency of being porous. It will always be porous to a certain extend and softer than sterling.

I can direct you to a document that gives you the hardness of the stones and how certain stones did in a heat test for metal clay. Remember that metal clay shrinks when fired so it can crack stones if not set correctly.

http://www.artclayworld.com/Tips-TechSheets/GemstoneTests.pdf

Carol
http://www.artclaystudio.com
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freeform
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 05:55:28 am »

Thanks, i will check it out.
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Taogem
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2008, 10:52:41 pm »

Finally found a lady named Shirley Bird from Spokane that offers metal clay classes.

With myself and Ralph attending, combined with a couple of other local people she will drive up and use a facility called Create Place. It is here in Newport.

Can't ask for better than that!

The beginner class is two days. Total of 8 hours for 65.00

Apparently the advanced class costs 650.00!

Not so sure I will be able to do that.

Any way, very excited about getting my feet wet.  ;)

The beginners class is set for the 31st and 1st.

Here is the last flyer that she put out..

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cababineau
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2008, 04:37:20 am »

Hi,
This is a good basic start.  I wish I was there to help you. If I ever am in that part of the country, I will make sure you know of it.

Is the second class really $650? I charge that for my four day Senior Certification workshop. Seems very steep to me if it is a class.  I'd be interested to know what is offered in that class.

Tell me all about your adventure into the land of metal clay, once you've tried it.
I'm all ears!

Carol
http://www.artclaystudio.com





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Taogem
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 01:23:48 am »

I wanted to sorta be prepared for the beginners class coming up the end of the month.

I decided to practice what I preach and am designing my first piece more around the design / shape of the stones. Then work second with the shape of the silver clay setting.

A book that was loaned to me really helped a lot.

One thing that I had not thought about and wonder if the instructor will be bringing is bezel tape for nice settings. I am thinking that as a beginning class it will be pretty basic.

Being my first time, did not want to get too complicated and yet I want to take advantage of the hands on instructions as well as utilizing the bezel tape. I foresee using the tape all the time.

The book is titled "Metal Clay" by Jackie Truty.

It shows how the tape will be set into the clay. Then if the stone is a little bit too short in height, material can be added under it to bring it up to working height in regards to rolling the tape properly over the beveled edge of the stone.





Here are the matching stones that I would like to use in my first setting.



Here is somewhat how the stones will sit in the clay setting.



As my stones are now, they are just a bit too high in comparison to the height of the bezel tape. Especially by the time the tape is pushed down into the clay prior to drying in the kiln.

I will take just a hair off the bottom to make them set properly.









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cababineau
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 05:23:41 am »

Hi George,
Unless you discussed doing bezels with the instructor prior to the class, then I don't think you will be doing bezels. That should be considered an intermediate to advanced class.

Jackie's book is a good one to start with. 

How thick is your backing piece? You need enough to put the bezel wire into the clay without it coming through the back once fired.

When making this type of project use a good sized drinking straw to poke a hole through the back (inside the bezel wire area) so that you can take out your stone easily, if needed.

I dry my piece, and work with the stone in until I am ready to fire it, then remove the stone.

Watch out that you don't push the bezel wire too far into the clay (causes the wire to break through the back.)

Make sure the join of the bezel wire is solid before putting it into the clay (I solder mine)

How are you planning to hang this beauty? That is a design element you have to take into account. It doesn't look like you have a lot to work with between the stone and bezel area.

Hope this wasn't too discouraging?

You are taking a big bite for a first project. Looks like you are planning well though.

How I make my focal pieces:

I do my stone setting differently because of the weight of the metal and then you add stones and now you have a pretty hefty piece. So, I make mine in parts (how I work with everything anyway.)

I start with the stone. Find a bezel wire that fits, cut file and solder the wire. Roll out some metal clay to a 1.5mm thickness. Gently press the bezel wire on the metal clay just enough to make a slight impression of the shape. When I cut out the shape I about 1/8"  - 1/4" or a little larger area around the bezel. Take out/off the stone/bezel combination, cut out or punch out a hole in the center. Replace the bezel without the stone and use syringe to adhere the bezel to the backing. Put the stone back into the bezel and let the whole thing dry in my dehydrator. This takes a while because of the stone being on top.

Once the unit is dry I then make a "cover" to place over the bezel/backing unit.

I have decided before hand what I want the whole thing to look like. I then roll out more metal clay, 1.5mm to create enough area to cover the front of the bezel/stone/backing.
I place the piece with the bezel over this and press in the bezel. This area I then cut out of the "cover. "

I texture it if desired, trim it to the correct or "close to" shape I want and then use a lot of paste on the bezel backing and adhere the two part together by draping this cover section over the backing section. I get a much better look to the front and I do a lot less filing/sanding on the front so I don't lose my texture.

This also avoids any stress points that cause cracks once fired.

There's more to this, but I need to get stuff done today. I will see if I can get a picture of a back of one of my pieces to the forum at some point this week.

If you use those sanding foam pads in progressively finer grits , you will get a great finish.
The finer the finish before firing the better you piece will be!
I am a fanatic about finishing too. If it's not good enough for me -

Carol

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