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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Spend $25.00 and get FREE Scratch Foam

Written by Diane Rein

Spend $25.00 and get FREE Scratch Foam
Spend $25.00 or more and get free scratch foam! Perfect for making your own unique texture. Enter Code: “SCRATCH” in the coupon code box during checkout. Watch our video on how to use this versatile product. Offer ends June 6, 2016 at Midnight CDT.
Watch Video and Shop Here

June 3, 2016

Posted In: Free Video Projects, Promotions, Video Projects

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Product Feature Video: CoolSlip Anti-Stick Solution

Written by Diane Rein

Product Feature Video: CoolSlip Anti-Stick Solution
Check out the NEW CoolSlip product video HERE. Cool Tools CoolSlip is the first anti-stick product made just for metal clay and metal clay tools. Spray on textures and tools before use for crisp, stick-free impressions. Use as a spray or brush on.

May 31, 2016

Posted In: Product Spotlight

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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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Free “Deco” Bail Templates with your $50.00 Order!

Written by Diane Rein

Free Deco Bail Templates with your $50.00 OrderENDS SOON!!!
New Designs …..get 2 Bail Templates Free!
SHOP HERE

Enter Coupon Code: “BAIL”

Today through May 16th, spend $50.00 or more and get two free Cool Tools Jewelry Shape Art Deco Bail Templates! These unique templates include fun edges for more design options. These larger size bail templates are great for base metal clays or larger projects in silver and gold.

May 13, 2016

Posted In: Promotions

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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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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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New Video!

Written by Diane Rein

Create Large Bead Caps by Valerie Bealle
Create Large Bead Caps by Valerie Bealle

Valerie Bealle, Metal Clay Artist and Instructor from Long Island, New York visited the Cool Tools studio to demonstrate how to create cylinder bead caps and end caps using PMC Flex. Watch the video below as Valerie uses the natural shrinkage rate of metal clay to her advantage as she properly sizes bead caps to fit a string of beads perfectly.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

April 15, 2016

Posted In: Free Video Projects

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20% off – Cool Slip * Patina Gel * SLIK!

Written by Diane Rein

20% off - Cool Slip  *  Patina Gel *  SLIKToday through April 11th, Save 20% off Cool Tools Patina Gel, Cool Slip and SLIK.

Cool Tools Patina Gel is liver of sulfur in a stabilized gel form. Not only is it the most convenient, easiest way to use liver of sulfur, but amazingly it does not degrade in light and air the way dry and liquid liver of sulfur does.

Spray Cool Slip on textures and tools before use for crisp, stick-free impressions. Use as a spray or brush on. Non-toxic and non-reactive. Perfect for Metal Clay.

Cool Tools Slik is the balm made just for metal clay. It’s smooth and silky, not sticky like olive-oil based balms. Made from all natural ingredients like pure soy, almond and aloe, Slik works like magic on hands, textures, tools, work surfaces, polymer molds and rubber stamps.

No Promo Code Needed. Order today – Offer ends Monday, April 11th at midnight CDT.
SHOP HERE!

April 8, 2016

Posted In: Promotions

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New Video!

Written by Diane Rein

Taking Antique Molds to the Next Level
Taking Antique Molds to the Next Level
by Valerie Bealle

Valerie Bealle, Metal Clay Artist and Instructor transforms a detailed pendant made from silver metal clay using one of our Antique Molds. She enhances it with gold plating, adds cubic zirconias and patina. To complete the look, Valerie frames it with a decorative twisted rope edge made from PMC Flex.

Visit Valerie’s website: valeriebealledesigns.com

March 31, 2016

Posted In: Free Project Guides, Free Video Projects

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