Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Part 1 - Testing of Sterling Silver Metal Clay in 2011

In September 2011 I was given Sterling Silver metal clay by Mitsubishi to test. I am now going to start posting these tests for you all now  that it isn't confidential information.

Test 1

  • Simple Firing SS Clay in my kiln 
  • Carving the clay 
  • Doming after firing 
  • Will SS Clay accept Aura 22 gold.

Made clay disc 2mm thick, 20mm wide. Imprinted it with a rubber stamp, and then carved into the center area. The clay chipped easily when carving lines close to each other.

Fired clay per instructions:
On Kiln shelf for 5 minutes at 840˚ F in Evenheat PMC kiln. Fired it in charcoal at 1500˚f holding it for 30 minutes.

Removed and placed into stainless steel container with provided charcoal.  Container sat in kiln 24mm up off the kiln floor.

Allowed it to cool for a 5 minutes, and then removed pan from oven using gloves. I opened pan, and using copper tongs I quenched the disc in a bowl of water. 
Disc sintered perfectly and kept all textures and carving detail.
It shrank from 20mm in diameter to 16 1/2mm diameter.

I then tested its malleability by doming with a steel dapping block.

There was no cracking. It formed perfectly.

I then polished it with a 3M red Radial Bristle Disc at 220 Grit.
I wanted to see if it would accept Aura 22 gold.
I painted three coats of PMC3 slip on the flower areas, allowing each coating to dry completely.  I then applied 3 coats of Aura 22 gold, allowing each layer to dry completely.
I then torch fired the disc until it was a peach color. Allowed it to air cool.
I then burnished the gold and polished the silver areas with the same 3M disc.

The gold sticks in some areas and flakes off in others.

Next week I will publish another test I completed in this series.

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