metal clay, art clay, pmc, bronze clay, copper clay, steel clay
FAQ HomeFAQAsk us a QuestionSave your Favorites
Metal Clay Academy Excellence in Art Clay and Precious Metal Clay PMC
Search Advanced Search
Categories
Beginners (49)
Advanced (14)
Glass (2)
Hollow Forms (1)
Patina and Colours (8)
Stones (8)
Technical (30)
Training (2)
Firing (9)
Finishing (10)
Business (3)
Money saving tips (3)
Search
Advanced Search
FAQs
Search our FAQ to find resolutions to common issues.
How do I add pearls to my metal clay creations?

I use 20 gauge fine silver wire for my half-drilled pearl projects. I
usually have half an inch or so extending from the piece after I set the
wire. I trim off the excess when I'm ready to set the pearl, but I find
having it longer during placement and finishing makes the process easer.

Depending on the design of the piece, I will put a tiny bend into the end of
the wire that is being inserted into the clay. Then, after it's been
pressed in, I can fill the extra gap it made with paste or syringe material.
This little hook prevents the wire from pulling out.

In some cases, such as at the tip of a small tapered coil, making the bend
is not a possibility. In those cases, I'm always extra careful reinforce
with paste around the base of the wire. For the wire in the end of the coil
I might even smooth clay along the wire to increase the hold and make the
transition between clay and wire smoother.

Instead of trying to put a tiny bend in the end of the wire, it might be more efficient and place better if you use a torch to ball up the end of the wire to be pushed into the clay. As before, you'd need to fill in around the wire where the larger end pushed back the clay.

In either case, once your piece is dry and ready to fire the wire should not
be loose at all. If it is, go back and reinforce again. Using these
techniques, I have had no problem with the wires pulling our or surviving
firing, tumbling or other finishing processes.

I set my pearls using two part epoxy. I use a slow curing formula (Loctite
Extra Time Epoxy) so I don't feel rushed while getting the pearl set. Avoid
super-glue or other cyanoacrylate glues as they can become brittle over
time. I trim the wire in stages. Trim it, put the pearl on the wire and
see how much more you need to trim. You can always take more off, but you
can't put more on after you cut it, so it's better to work you way down to
the correct length slowly. Once you have the wire trimmed to the correct
length, use a toothpick to mix up the epoxy and put a small drop on the end
of the wire. Push the pearl onto the wire, twisting it a bit to make sure
the epoxy is well distributed inside the hole.

Pam East


Print  Email  Save  Comments  Notify Me  Add to Favorites 
Article ID: 10077 Article Created: 12-15-2008 11:11 AM

How well did this article answer your question? 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%

Most Recently Viewed Articles
How do I find out where to put the holes on a pendant to make it balance right?
Unusual shaped pendants can be difficult to hang so this article by Lorrene Davis gives a simple technique for placing the hole or bail so the pendant hangs as you want it to....
Which training course should I choose?
This is a difficult question to answer quickly. There are many training providers throughout the world, many of which have not had any formal training to train others. This doesn’t mean they’re bad teachers though. There are lots of very good teachers who have been working with metal clay for many years and have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to students. ...
How do I remove Liver of Sulphur patina from specific areas of my work only?
There are various ways of shining up certain bits of your work after adding a Liver of Sulphur patina. ...
Tips and Hints on using UV Resin
The following tips and hints were posted on the Yahoo! Metal Clay Group by Linda at Laughing Girl Arts...
How do I use Aura 22?
Adding gold to your metal clay work can be achieved in a number of ways. You can add gold foil using the Keum Boo process. You can also use Aura 22 or gold paste. This article contains the processes used for adding Aura 22 from three experienced metal clay artists and teachers - Pam East, "Sarasota Sarah" Triton and Mary Ellin D'Agostino....
How do I weave paper type metal clay?
There is an excellent tutorial on this on Squidoo written by Margaret Schindel. ...
What is PMC?
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) consists of microscopic particles of silver or gold suspended in an organic binder to create a pliable material with a consistency similar to modeling clay. PMC can be worked in the fingers and with simple tools to create a vast range of forms and surfaces unobtainable or laborious with traditional metalwork techniques. When it is heated to a high temperature, the binder burns away and the metal particles fuse to form solid metal that can be sanded, soldered, colored and polished like conventional material.    From the Mitsubishi Materials website...
What are the working stages of metal clay?
There are three working stages; lump clay, leather hard or green stage and fired....
What is the process for firing Copper clay with Dichroic glass?
The original copper clay (Copprclay or Hadar's clay) that needs to be fired in carbon can't really be combined with glass in one firing. The glass would pick up the carbon during firing . You could design something that allowed you to connect the glass element after the initial firing, like a traditional prong setting.  There are several reasons why Art Clay Copper Clay or Hadar\'s Quick Fire Copper Clay won\'t work with glass. It needs to be fired at a high temperature so the glass would probably liquify too much. Also the Art Clay Copper works best if you put it in a hot kiln so this would crack the glass due to thermal shock. After firing, it has to be dropped into cold water, another reason why it can\'t be used with glass. Question courtesy of Susan Potter...
How do I remove enamel from my silver clay piece?
Pam East's book Enameling on Metal Clay: Innovative Jewelry Projects outlines this process. Here Pam gives some basic information to consider....