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Archive for July, 2010

Jul
28

I’ve been playing with FASTfire BRONZclay for several months now, and I love it! It’s so easy to work with and so reliable to fire. There are several advantages to this clay over the original BRONZclay.

Here’s a quick overview of the advantages:

- Does not stain hands.

- Does not stiffen from body heat.

- Doesn’t warp or crack when dried on a heat source (dries about as fast a silver clay).

- The texture of the wet clay is silky smooth.

- It carves well and is very strong after drying, but still flexible, so links can be made from it.

- Dry pieces can be water bonded, just like silver clay. I wet the areas to be attached on both dry parts, then hold them together for a few seconds until they bond. No additional paste or clay is necessary, and the bond is very strong after firing.

- Shrinks 10% less than Original version.

- Fires in only 2 to 3 hours (depending on thickness).

- Better color after firing.

One thing that will definitely improve the clay is conditioning it with Slik. Make a thin patty from the clay, butter one side with Slik and knead it in. The clay has a much improved texture and it stays moist much longer and does not get surface cracking.

Give this clay a try! You will love it. We have all the package sizes available and you can get better prices by ordering in volume!

Order your FASTfire BRONZclay, and then get back in your studio and make something! :)

-Mardel

Jul
23

A truly unique and advantageous part of our Cool Tools site is the valuable information we provide to beginners and advanced metal clay artists. Mardel Rein delivers an expansive learning center full of detailed information to get you started on Metal Clay artistry.

The Cool Tools learning center provides resources, inspiration and expert advice on metal clay and jewelry making in silver, gold and bronze. We have video workshops featuring free, on-demand video libraries that give step-by-step instructions on making jewelry. Plus, we have detailed downloadable projects and product PDFs to help get off to a great start in Metal Clay.

Jul
15

Working with Metal Clay is much like working with any other clay, the only difference is, it’s way more rewarding! Mold and shape, etch and manipulate this wonderful clay anyway you want. The real magic happens once this metal clay is heated, all that remains is pure solid metal jewelry.

Metal Clay essentially consists of metal and organic binder. Metal Clay can be used to create pieces of art and jewelry, and is perfect where small detail is needed. Heating metal clay at a high temperature results in pure silver, bronze, copper or gold Metal.

There are many benefits to using Metal Clay for various jewelry making projects. Metal Clay makes working with Metal unbelievably easy, you’re working with metal in a way that was until recent years impossible. Metal Clay allows you to add intricate detail thanks to a slight shrinking that happens during the firing process. There are also various ways of heating the Metal Clay to achieve your finished product. You can add color, different textures and create a truly unique piece of jewelry with Metal Clay. Try out Metal Clay for yourself and discover the fun and resourcefulness of it.

Jul
12

Gingko Pendant Project

I’ve got a new video project up our YouTube Channel that shows how to use my Jewelry Shape Templates to create a layered effect in any kind of clay.  I demonstrate the technique with a really simple pendant using bronze clay and my Tapered Squares and Gingko Leaves templates.  The technique is so quick and fun, I know you’ll love it!

In the video project, I also demonstrate how to use one of the most useful products I’ve created, the Integrated Findings & Bails template.  I introduced this template at the 2010 Bead&Button Show.  This template idea came to me because I wanted a way to make findings, connectors and bails that were an integrated part of the basic slab of clay so nothing had to be pasted on or embedded.  My design is sort of wacky looking, but it works like a charm!  I get a much stronger finding and a finished piece that

Gingko Pendant Project

looks so much more professional with this template.  Not only that, but with the layering technique, you can make

the findings set back from the main shape for a truly elegant effect.

Check out the video and enjoy!

-Mardel