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Polishing
Tip on how to get a tumble polished finish without buying a tumbler.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
What are the problems associated with quenching hot metal clay?
If you want to refire, enamel or solder on a piece of metal clay that has been quenched, 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.It is also important to remember that you should not quench a piece which has glass or stones as part of the design. The sudden change in temperature from the firing to the cold water may cause shock and the stone or glass could be damaged or break entirely. Leave your piece to air cool, it should only take a few minutes.
What kiln should I buy?
This really depends on what you intend to do with your kiln and what your budget is.

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