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Archive for January, 2011

Jan
28

Creative Metal is a new line of products that offers custom tools and metals for endless possibilities. Our Creative Metal products are one of a kind. The unique and decorative soft metals, available in brass and copper, allow inspiration to take hold and can be embossed, detailed, antiqued, adhered to various surfaces, and used as texture for metal clay. These metals are available in rolls and sheets in various sizes. There is no limit to what you can create using these workable metals as an open canvas.

Creative Metal also offers a variety of custom tools for texturing, engraving, forming, and stamping. The rolling tools easily help create unique and custom texture to fit your metal designs. The texturing tools are versatile. They can be used on any type of metal clay or any other soft and pliable metals.

Creative Metal also offers custom designed texture sheets. These unique designs can be used just about anywhere. The design sheets feature checkerboards, bricks, grids, floral patterns, geometric designs, Celtic symbols, Victorian inspiration, cobblestone patterns, Vines, Hearts and much more. These designs are available in several sizes and styles.

Starter Kits are available featuring what you’ll need to start creating today. Creative Metal is also sold individually allowing you to customize your order to your design needs.

Get creative with your metal right here from Cool Tools.

Jan
21

Cool Tools Patina Gel is a unique stabilized form of liver of sulfur formulated by a metal clay artist, for a metal clay artist. Patina Gel is not only the most convenient and easy way to use liver of sulfur but amazingly it does not degrade in light and air the way the old fashioned lump form does. Cool Tools Patina Gel is stable so even if the container is left open the gel remains fresh.

Cool Tools Patina Gel is a tested product with proven results. Jewelry Artists are discovering the benefits of Cool Tools Patina Gel and Art Bead Scene writes “It’s a dream come true!” The Cool Tools unique Patina Gel chemistry makes it non-flammable and safe for international shipping. It mixes quickly and easily in water, or it can be brushed on full strength directly from the bottle. Cool Tools Patina Gel is economical. Use only what you need. No more digging for the right sized chunk or wasting pieces that are too large. No more throwing out a whole container because the lid was not on just right. Patina Gel is always fresh and always ready to use. Just a few drops are all you need for a batch of patina solution.

The convenience and long life of Cool Tools Patina Gel speaks for itself. Patina Gel oxidizes just like any other sulfur-based oxidizing agent, but it has an extended shelf life, lasting years, even uncovered. Cool Tools Patina Gel is not only a stable form of liver of sulfur but saves you time and money while delivering fantastic results.

As the largest manufacturer of metal clay tools in the United States, Cool Tools has had a long history of developing and refining innovative products. Known worldwide as a leader in creativity and productivity tools for jewelry artists, Cool Tools has created an instant staple in Cool Tools Patina Gel Stabilized Liver of Sulfur. Patina Gel is an example of taking a difficult and inconvenient task and making it simple and easy to use, something Cool Tools works at every day. Cool Tools Patina Gel offers you the ability to get any finish you desire on silver and any other metal clay.

Cool Tools offers FREE patina videos showing you tips, tricks, hints, shortcuts and expert advice. The Learning Center also features FREE down-loadable instructions on how to use Cool Tools Patina Gel as well as A Jewelry Artists Guide to Liver of Sulfur Patinas with unique patina recipes. Discover the difference that Cool Tools Patina Gel can make on your jewelry making projects.

Jan
15

Ask an experienced metal clay artist if diamonds can be co-fired in silver clay and most will advise against it. This is because it was something few dared and even fewer succeeded in doing. It was not a good bet.

Actual 1/3 carat genuine diamond before firing

Actual 1/3 carat genuine diamond before firing

In my 2005 article, Gemstones in Metal Clay, I warned that firing diamonds was a risky proposition. Diamonds have been known to disappear in the kiln, and torch firing often results in a cloudy stone. But now, with the help of activated carbon, diamonds and many other heat-sensitive stones can be safely co-fired in all types of metal clay.

Diamond Burst Necklace after firing and finishing. No cracks, no damage, fired perfectly in activated carbon. I risked a $900 diamond doing it, but it was worth it!

In my updated Gemstones in Metal Clay article (click the title to download), you’ll learn about carbon firing and which stones can be carbon-fired sucessfully in metal clays. Heat-sensitive gemstones (those that darken or change colors when fired in metal clay) can often take hours of firing with no damage when protected in a bed of activated carbon, and they can withstand higher temperatures. Take the case of the Tanzanite CZ. When fired on a kiln shelf or embedded in fine silver clay, this stone can take no more than 10 minutes at 1110F before the color begins to change. But when the same stone was buried in activated carbon, it survived an amazing 16 hours at 1500F with no change in color or clarity!

I’ve created a video showing the making of my Diamond Burst Necklace. After firing several small diamonds in carbon, I needed to fire a larger one. I created the necklace in PMC PRO to document the test firing. The Antique Mold I used is called Mushroom Cap. I wet-set a 1/3 carat natural diamond and fired it in a firing box made with our exclusive No-Flake Firing Foil, and coconut carbon. The firing was a success and the diamond came out just as sparkling and clear as it went in! (I couldn’t have been happier! that diamond was appraised at $900!) After firing, I burnished the necklace and added an antique patina with Cool Tools Patina Gel. To remove the unwanted patina and add a satin finish, I used a coarse Mini-Fiber Wheel. I polished the front with a 400 grit 3M Polishing Paper.

There are more details in the FREE downloadable project instructions and you can see the Diamond Burst Necklace video here. These and other videos can be found in our Learning Center.

I hope you will give diamonds a try with this wonderful method. Diamonds are more affordable than you may guess (unless of course you use a really big one!) and add scintillation and cachet like no other stone! Add beautiful distinction to your jewelry with diamonds.

-Mardel

Jan
7

The Emerald Tea Ring designed and created by Mardel Rein

Create this elegant Emerald Tea Ring with only 3 grams of clay and a few simple ring making techniques.

Explore our Learning Center and learn how to make amazing jewelry starting right here. The Emerald Tea Ring is an elegant & delicate ring designed by Mardel Rein. The ring features a unique prong-set stone that uses simple tools and very few supplies.

Mardel says, “I love delicate rings, and PMC PRO is the perfect material to use for creating a ring with the strength of sterling silver. I made the Emerald Tea Ring shank using my Ring Size and Hollow Rings Templates. I added texture to both sides of the shank and to the top of the prongs using my Carnations Texture Tile. I used a stone setting bur, a triangle shape cut-4 needle file and a V-Grove Dockyard Carver to cut a seat for the 6mm square stone. I refined the outside of the ring shank with a Sponge Sanding Pad and smoothed the inside of the ring with a Half Round Ring File. The Emerald Tea Ring was fired in a No-Flake Firing Foil Box in a bed of Activated Carbon. I finished the ring using a Brass Brush, 250 grit 3M Bristle Disc, the Half Round Ring File, Silicone Polishers and a Polishing Cloth. The emerald stone used is a 6x6mm square lab grown emerald. I set the stone using a riveting hammer.

The most exciting part of the Emerald Tea Ring is that I used only 3 grams of PMC PRO clay! I could never have made a ring this delicate and strong with fine silver clay. This is one of the great advantages of PMC PRO, it gives me the strength I need to make delicate, fine jewelry that will stand up to wear.

Download the complete detailed Emerald Tea Ring Project Instructions and, as always, watch the Project Video FREE in our Learning Center and find all the tools and supplies you need right here. At Cool Tools you’ll find Tools, Projects, and How-To Guides created just for metal clay artists. Express your inner elegance with help from Cool Tools.