by Marie-Ann Coyle
Aussie Metal Clay is an Australian company and the owner Ros Bailey makes all the clays from silvers to base metals in many colours. Kim Booklass is the Senior Instructor, clay tester and clay designer. They have a web site and Facebook presence.
This is a different way of achieving an item in silver whether it is 99% or Sterling silver or Argentium 960 silver.
The silver particles which are in a fine dust are mixed with a clay binder to create a malleable clay.
The clay can be sculpted, rolled out, textured, moulded, stamped or many other ways to be used.
- The Hummingbird pendant was cut out freehand. The clay was rolled to 3 cards thick (playing card thickness). I then cut and moulded the bird, flowers, and background. The pieces on the back and the bale were added when the front was dry.
The idea is to not let the clay dry too much but there is a wonderful product that AMC make called Clay Stay. This allows you to join pieces wet on wet, wet on dry and dry on dry.
The item must be completely dry and as this was a larger piece, I fired it in my jewellery kiln to the firing schedule for the 999 and my kiln settings.
- The Frog pendant was made using the clay to push into a mould which is my own handmade mould, then adding the leaves, texturing the wood and adding the bale and pieces to the back.
I fired both these pieces at the same time with another pendant.
As each kiln is different it is recommended to make a test strip and fire to make sure it is fully sintered (silver hardness).
Smaller pieces can be torch fired but there is a specific method to do this.
This is a fairly simple explanation and if you want more information please go to their web site and look at the tutorials on offer. Press on the Australian Flag!