Announcing a Fabulous New Metal Clay

Written by Diane Rein

Artist Lisel Crowley has written a great review of our new EZ960(tm) sterling silver clay. Check it out below and here: Lisel Crowley News

Lisel Crowley

Over the past few months, (March, 2016 to June 2016), I have had the distinct pleasure of testing a fabulous new Sterling Silver clay. Created by Bill Struve and distributed by Cool Tools, this clay is an open shelf sterling silver clay with wonderful working properties and incredible post firing strength. It is called EZ960 and is 96 percent silver and 4 percent copper. I am very excited to share with you what I discovered using this product.

Working Properties
This clay is smooth and creamy out of the package. It rolls and textures perfectly. I use a lot of delicate coils in my work and it is great for rolling long, strong and flexible coils. It also has a long working time before drying and cracking, is very easy to reconstitute with a bit of water and remains slightly flexible even after drying. I have attached fine silver bezel cups and they adhere strongly and are fully bonded after firing. I also find it easy to join pieces with just water and the post firing bond is strong and durable.

Lisel Crowley

Bezel set cubic zirconia, combined with delicate coils and textured leaves

Lisel Crowley

Firing and Finishing
Bill Struve recommends firing this clay on an open shelf, no carbon necessary, to 1675 Farenheit for 2 hours for full sintering. I found that in my kiln, which is a paragon SC2, it sintered fully at 1650 for 2 hours. I ramped at full speed, and held for two hours and then crash cooled. The fired color is slightly grayer than fine silver clay, which is to be expected. I tested for sintering by dabbing the fired piece with water, which was not absorbed. I find that the clay shrinks between 10 and 11 percent when fired at 1650 for 2 hours.

I brushed the pieces with a stainless steel brush and tumbled for an hour. They came out of the tumbler with a beautiful shine. I then applied liver of sulfur patina and finished with a blue radial disk to achieve a satin finish. I love the final finish this clay provides.

Lisel Crowley

Rings are a great item for this new clay due to its excellent post fired strength. Each of these rings has a fine silver bezel cup attached.

Strength!!!!
This is what I am most excited about. The post fired strength of this clay is fantastic! I have long wanted to make cuffs out of metal clay, but did not feel fine silver would have the strength required. With EZ960, not only do the cuffs have the required strength, but I can form and fire them flat and bend them around a mandrel after firing. This allows me a lot of creative freedom when designing the cuff. I also created a variety of rings which I formed and fired flat and bent around a mandrel post firing. They were so easy to shape and finish and I am thrilled with the design possibilities. I have been wearing and testing both the cuffs and rings and find that they can handle a lot of use and abuse with no distortion or problems.

Lisel Crowley

These cuffs were formed and fired flat and then formed over a bracelet mandrel post firing.

Lisel Crowley

I have worn them to test their strength and they hold up beautifully.

Lisel Crowley

Here’s a close up of one of the rings I formed and fired flat and then shaped around a mandrel post firing.

Lisel Crowley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is another ring, without patina

Conclusion
This is proving to be  my new favorite clay. I love its working properties, the finish I can achieve and the strength it provides. I have long admired the genius of Bill Struve and the dedication of Cool tools to providing metal clay artists with the best tools and supplies to fuel their creative passion.

I have not been paid to write this review, nor was I paid to do the testing. I do believe in this product and feel it will provide you with endless creative possibillties. Enjoy. Here is a link to Cool Tools if you would like to order some clay for yourself.

Tutorials
I recently visited Cool Tools, where I filmed several project tutorials using EZ960. They will be released over the next few months. If you are on the Cool Tolls email list, you will receive a notification when they are available to view. I will also post a link on my facebook page and on my resources page on here on my website. I hope they will help you to expand your creative approach to metal clay in new ways. I always welcome feedback and questions. You can reach me at lisel33@sbcglobal.net.

June 16, 2016

Posted In: Creativity, New Products!, Product Spotlight

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New from Cool Tools….

Written by Diane Rein

New from Cool Tools
New Pliers! Choose from 3-Step, Bending/Forming, Half Round, Concave Round, Crimping and more.
Shop New Pliers
New Metal Blanks! Fun new shapes in Brass, Copper and Nickel Silver.
Shop Metal Blanks
Thompson Enamel Sampler Set – Start with this complete color sampler containing all 169 colors of Thompson medium temperature/medium expansion enamels.
Shop Sampler Set

June 8, 2016

Posted In: New Products!

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What’s in the Woods?

Written by Diane Rein

Sandhill Cranes
Here at Cool Tools there’s a wide variety of wildlife surrounding us. Here’s our local pair of Sandhill Cranes out for a stroll with their new colts. Baby Sandhill cranes are called colts because of their long, strong, well-developed legs. Video / Shop. Last Day..Spend $25.00 and get FREE Scratch Foam.

June 6, 2016

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Throwback Thursday! Check out the “PMC 960” DIY video.

Written by Diane Rein

Check out the "PMC 960" DIY video.
Nothing beats the strength and shine of sterling silver, but sometimes, the firing schedules for PMC Sterling can be somewhat difficult. Combining PMC3 and PMC Sterling results in a new clay type that offers the best of both worlds. In this tool demo, learn how making PMC 960 is the perfect solution for strength and simple firing.
Shop for PMC Sterling here
Shop for PMC3 here
‪#‎CoolTools‬ ‪#‎JewelryDIY‬

May 19, 2016

Posted In: Free Video Projects

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New Video!

Written by Diane Rein

Setting Small Gemstones in Silver Metal Clay
Setting Small Gemstones in Silver Metal Clay by Valerie Bealle

Valerie Bealle, Metal Clay Artist and Instructor demonstrates three different methods to set small cubic zirconia in silver metal clay. In this video she uses PMC Flex along with 2mm cubic zirconias. Flex clay stays soft and pliable longer than other silver metal clay and allows the artist to make multiple bezel settings without the clay cracking and drying out.

Watch Video Here

May 18, 2016

Posted In: Free Video Projects

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Simple Riveting System – How to Video

Written by Diane Rein

Simple Riveting System

Riveting and creating cold connections is a unique technique that adds a beautiful and raw look to your jewelry projects. However, drilling holes, and flaring rivets can be challenging and time consuming. In this tool demo, learn to use our simple riveting system, creating cold connections and riveting in a matter of seconds. Shop at Cool Tools for this product

 

May 16, 2016

Posted In: Free Video Projects

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Tim Holtz® Alcohol Inks, Blending Solution & Pen!

Written by Diane Rein

Tim Holtz® Adirondack® Alcohol Inks, Blending Solution & Pen
Acid-free, fast drying transparent coordinating dye inks specially formulated to create a colorful, polished stone effect. Alcohol inks are an intensely concentrated dye dissolved in alcohol. They are permanent and once dried, are not water soluble. These alcohol inks are perfect for metal and disperse beautifully into translucent polymer clay.

Alcohol Blending Solution was specially formulated to dilute and lighten the Alcohol Inks’ vibrant tones. Not only is this solution useful for lightening and blending the Adirondack Alcohol Ink colors, it will also remove them from slick surfaces, hands and art tools.

The Blending Pen is an empty, dual-tipped dry pen that needs to be filled with Adirondack® Alcohol Ink Blending Solution to blend and lighten Adirondack® Alcohol Inks. Use the Blending Pen with Adirondack® Alcohol Ink colors for endless creative possibilities.
SHOP NOW!

May 11, 2016

Posted In: New Products!

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20% Off All Pliers!

Written by Diane Rein

20% Off All Pliers
Forming | Cutting | Bending | Hole Punch

Enter Coupon Code: “PLIER20”

Today through May 9TH Save 20% on All Pliers! The right set of pliers can make your jewelry making quicker and easier. Select from Hole Punches, Plier Sets, Side Cutters, Tube Cutting, Shears, Oval, Square, Jumbo Shapes and more. We offer proven brands like Lindstrom, C.H.P. and Wubbers. Offer ends 05/09/2016 at 11:59pm CDT.
SHOP HERE

May 6, 2016

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New Soldering Products at Cool Tools!

Written by Diane Rein

New Soldering Products at Cool Tools
Desoldering Wick

High quality desoldering braid with unique, no clean flux. Pure oxygen free copper wire. Available in three sizes: 1.5, 2 & 2.5mm.

360° Soldering Pan
12″ soldering pan rotates 360º with easy access. The heat reflecting pumice is perfect for supporting your project in any position – flat or embedded. This pan comes with an attachable third hand custom designed to fit the pan. Includes pumice.

Extra Easy Solder Paste
Easy paste solder flows at 1205°F and melts at 1145°F. Combined solder and flux eliminates over- or under-fluxing. This paste solder reaches melting temperature quickly, reducing heat damage. Lead and Cadmium-free. Perfect for soldering Goldie White Iron.

Vigor Heat Shield with Applicator Syringe – 1 LB
Protect components from direct flame with this clay-like heat sink. It protects most stones while your are soldering around them, and it acts as a barrier between the stones and flame, so stones don’t have to be removed. Effective for direct-flame temperatures up to 5000°F (2760°C). Non-toxic, odorless clay-like material washes off with water. Handy applicator syringe included; replacement syringes are available.

Shop New Products

May 4, 2016

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25% off – Jumbo Rolling Frames * Large Clayboard Work Surfaces * 11″ Rollers

Written by Diane Rein

Jumbo-Rolling-Frames-Roller-and-Worksurfaces
Think Big – Work Big!

Enter Coupon Code: “ROLL”

Today through May 2nd Save 25% on our Jumbo Clay Thickness Rolling Frames, 9″ x 9″ Non-stick Rolling Surface and our 11″ Ultimate Non-Stick Roller.

Jumbo Rolling Frames:
Cool Tools Jumbo Rolling Frames make rolling metal and polymer clay easy! Each template is numbered to correspond to the number of cards in thickness they represent. Outside dimensions are 8-1/2″ x 8-5/8″
Clayboard Non-Stick Work Surface:
Our 9″ x 9″ Clayboard work surface offers a smooth Teflon surface that metal clay won’t stick to. The board features non-skid feet so your work is up off the table and the board stays where you put it. The tough Teflon surface can be used for rolling and assembly.
11″ Ultimate Non-stick Roller:
The perfect size for our 9″ x 9″ work surface and Rolling Frames
SHOP HERE

April 29, 2016

Posted In: Promotions

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