About Metal Clays (sidebar)

More about the creative process…

After conception, the physical work begins. Once the clay is formed, it is sanded and shaped for refinement (anything sharp at this stage is going to be knifelike after it is fired!). Lab created gemstones (formulated to withstand the temperature in the kiln) can be added prior to firing. Some semiprecious gemstones can go through the firing, but one must carefully research this. Once the piece is dry and finished, it goes into my kiln for a short firing at a high temperature.

Waiting for the Kiln

When the piece comes out, it still looks like clay-matte. However drop it and it rings like metal because it is! If you scratch the surface, it reveals the silver hidden beneath. The binder has burned off in the firing. Shrinkage depends on which brand you use, but it is around 10%. There are various ways to polish but I prefer using a rock tumbler containing jewelry shot and a burnishing solution. The piece comes out beautifully shined and ready to either patina or use as is.