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Can I learn how to work with metal clay from a book?
Yes of course. There are lots of wonderful books that are ideal for beginners. Check out our Books page to find some great resources. We have some recommended books especially for beginners. It's also useful to browse books in your local bookshop to see if the style of the book suits your way of learning.
Is there any way of lifting the depth and colour of a stone in a bezel?
Some stones and also glass cabochons can benefit from having a coloured backing put into the bezel before setting the stone. Opals are particularly good with dark grit emery paper behind them.
Never waste a bit of your clay!
Make sure that every bit of clay, wet or dry, is collected and used.
Can I enamel a piece of metal clay which Iíve already tumble polished?
If you want to refire, enamel or solder on a piece of metal clay that has been tumble polished, you may find that moisture has got trapped in the metal. When you heat it again, especially if you heat it fast, the moisture turns to steam and may cause a blister on the surface. You need to dry the piece thoroughly if you have quenched the metal following the initial firing.
How do I roll out a consistently thick slab of clay?
There are several ways of doing this. The simplest and most inexpensive way is to buy some playing cards and use these in equal piles on each side of the lump of clay as you roll it out. For instance, if you want a fairly thin piece of clay for a simple pendant or earrings, you could put a pile of three cards on each side of the clay and use these as a guide for your roller.
My stone seems to lose its depth and lustre when I put it in a bezel, can I improve the look?
Some stones and also glass cabochons can benefit from having a coloured backing put into the bezel before setting the stone. Opals are particularly good with dark grit emery paper behind them.
How can I raise up a cabochon if the bezel is too high?
There are several ways of fitting a cabochon into a bezel that's not the perfect height.
How thick should my clay be?
This depends on what you are making, how deep the texture you're using is, if you're putting texture on the back and the front and also to some extent personal taste. If you're making a pair of small plain earrings, you can roll the clay out to three cards thick. This should make a light pair of earrings that are strong enough to withstand the wear. If you're using deep texture you should go up to five or six cards thick. Deep texture on the back and front of a piece may require your initial rolling to be even thicker. If your piece is going to get lots of wear, like a pendant with a wrap over bail, the bail part should be a little thicker so it can withstand the wear. You will probably know if you've gone too thin when you try to pick the piece up.

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