Friday, 17 September 2010

Silver clay

Earlier this week, on a whim, I treated myself to something I have wanted to try for some time.  Yesterday it arrived...

I had briefly read about silver clay before and had rather fancied the idea, though I was somewhat sceptical.  Clay that turns to silver?  And you don't even need a kiln?  Sounds like something from one of my wildest fantasies! 

I ordered myself a starter set from here.  I could just as easily have ordered a lump of the silver clay (or "art clay", or "metal clay" as it is also known) and had a bash at it, but I wanted to make sure I had a small selection of the most basic tools needed.

Despite looking a little like a school chemistry set this little box is actually full of very useful things - like silver polish, a stainless steel brush, a burnisher (I had to google what that was for..), some antiquing solution (which stinks), tweezers, a mesh and safety cage for firing on a gas stove, and a few other very useful bits. So for £40 it's quite a bargain.

It also includes the all important lump of clay!  7g of slow dry silver clay - it doesn't look like much but trust me it goes a long way.

So do you want to see my first effort?

Ta dah!

The whole process was an incredible amount of fun.  You get to play with clay - and it really is just like normal clay, like working with a mix of air-drying and polymer clay, very pliable and very easy to use.  Then you dry it - either leaving it overnight or blasting it with a hair-dryer, then you get to play with fire! 

The clay is fired carefully on a gas hob, which was quite terrifying the first time as I was convinced there would be some kind of explosion.  The fired clay gets dunked in water, at which point it is white in colour and you will still be uncovinced it has worked.  Then you use your steel brush, or your burnisher, or your sanding pad and...magic happens!  Alchemy!  The white rubs away to reveal pure silver!

You can then finish it off to be shiny, or brushed, or you can play around with antiquing it and polishing. 

I am SO happy with the result, I have been busy making more, I think I may be addicted :)

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful! I love all of your work. So fresh and fun!


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