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 laminate PMC sheet?
Cut two identical sized pieces of PMC sheet. Lightly brush water onto one piece and immediately put the other piece on top, being careful to line up the edges. Press down gently to get as many air bubbles out as possible. If you want a completely flat laminated sheet, put something heavy on top of the piece to keep it flat while it dries....
What kiln should I buy?
This really depends on what you intend to do with your kiln and what your budget is....
Photopolymer Plates for Enamelling Textures
Pam East uses Photo-polymer plates extensively both for making custom textures and images, and for champleve enameling. She's learned a lot about photo-polymer from Maggie Bergman, Tonya Davidson and many others. She's also developed a few tricks of her own along the way. Here are a few tips that may help....
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. ...
My clay is dry, powdery, flaky and cracking. What can I do?
Spritz or brush the clay with water, wrap it in clingfilm/Saran Wrap and squish the water into the clay. Then leave it for a while. The clay will absorb the water and become usable again. If itís too sticky, leave it open to the air for a short while....
Butane Torch Tips
New metal clay artists normally start by using a butane torch for firing. This set of tips will help you get the best from your torch....
How do I use titanium with metal clay?
Holly Gage has a great tutorial for combining titanium with metal clay....
Can I make the clay wet again after I've dried it?
One of the great things about metal clay is that you can reconstitute it back to the wet clay stage once it\'s dried. If you don\'t like what you\'ve made, you can add water to it and it\'ll go back to the wet clay stage. Here\'s a way of doing just that....
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. ...
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. ...