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Metal Clay Academy Excellence in Art Clay and Precious Metal Clay PMC
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Can I use Art Clay and PMC in the same design?
As long as you use appropriate firing times and temperatures and take into account the differences in shrinkage, you can use products from both brands in a design, just as you can use different types of clay from the same brand in a design.
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.
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.
What is Cubic Zirconia?
A hard and relatively inexpensive synthetic stone, created in laboratories and often cut to resemble a diamond. It is available in a variety of colours and different shapes.
How can I get a good brass brush effect on very small pieces?
You can buy very small brushes which get into small spaces. Very small burnishing tools also work well to close the pores of the surface of the silver.
What can I do with my already fired mistakes?
Sometimes the mistakes can become a wonderful piece of work!
What is slip?
Slip is a watered down version of metal clay. You can buy slip or paste directly from the suppliers or make your own by adding water to a small lump of clay, filings or dried out clay. Slip can be used to attach two pieces of metal clay together, fill in small cracks or painted onto leaves, flowers, pods etc to make unique designs.

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