Posted by: mrtweeds | October 5, 2008

dear metal art clay, you are cool. love, me.

so for my birthday i asked my dear husband for a metal art clay kit. what is metal art clay, you may ask? well, they give a pretty good description here, but basically, it’s flecks of precious metal (silver, gold, bronze, etc) that have been bound together by an organic binder that will, when fired, burn away leaving pure metal. so you get a precious metal end product but get to shape it exactly like you would with clay. think sculpy that turns into silver or gold. how cool is that?

anyway, i had seen this on-line awhile ago, and it’s been in the back of my head ever since. so when my birthday rolled around i dragged it back from the deep, dark recesses of my brain and asked for it. well, truth be told, i ordered it and then told my husband that that’s what he got me. but let’s not quibble over details, shall we?

in any case, it arrived, i was excited, and i made a couple of test pieces. this is what they looked like:

this is the required "before" photo.

this is the required "before" photo.

not too exciting, are they? yes, it’s basically light grey clay. i made one piece which will be strung on a necklace and have a hanging bead that says “be”, then the two round-ish pieces have an “m” and an “f” imprinted on them. i also had each kid put their fingerprint on the piece with their initals which more or less disappeared, but that’s okay…i know they’re there.

so after letting them dry for a day, this is the exciting part! firing them! you just have to use a plain old kitchen butane torch (think creme brulee) to turn them into metal in just a few minutes…BUT i couldn’t find butane anywhere. i thought i got it finally but no, sorry, that wasn’t it. it turns out that BUTANE IS HARD TO FIND WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE COUNTRY. damn it. so my poor, sad pieces languished on my work table for weeks, just waiting to be fired….

UNTIL YESTERDAY. we were at the mall and we walked past a kitchen supply store and VOILA! they have cans of butane! YES! so this afternoon, what did i do? i worked metal clay magic, people. i turned those little globs of clay into THESE:

and this is the AFTER photo!

and this is the AFTER photo!

look ma, they’re silver! check out that awesome dime i made, too…okay, so i didn’t make the dime. but you can see how big they turned out. i did a more brushed finish on the “be” peice and a nice, shiny finish on the inital pendants and i love, love, love how they turned out. it’s so cool to see them turn into real silver! it totally made my day, and i can’t wait to work on some more pieces…


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