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Polishing
Tip on how to get a tumble polished finish without buying a tumbler.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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