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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.
What is Argentium Silver?
Argentium Sterling Silver is a patented and trademarked alloy that is at least 92.5% pure silver like regular sterling silver.
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.
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 do I use metal clay with bisque beads?
Painting bisque beads with slip can produce some wonderful results.
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.
Why is newly fired silver metal clay white?
This is the surface of the silver before burnishing. If you could look at it under a microscope you'd see lots of peaks and valleys. This uneven surface doesn't allow the light to reflect so it appears dull white.
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.

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