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
What are the working stages of metal clay?
There are three working stages; lump clay, leather hard or green stage and fired....
How do you make hinges?
This article contains information about resources for making hinges....
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 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....
Where can I buy investment in the UK?
Cooksons or Walsh...
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. ...
I used a steel pin to seal my syringe and now the clay is black. What happened?
Steel reacts badly with metal clay and causes this black reaction. It is not advisable to use the clay. In future use a piece of silver wire to seal the syringe or store it with the tip standing in water....
How can I find out the quality of the teaching I will get from a trainer?
One thing to bear in mind is that very few teachers delivering metal clay training have had any formal teacher training. This doesn't mean they're bad teachers though. ...
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. ...
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....