Does Art Clay Silver retain real silver?
Yes, silver clay consists of real silver particles, which means that after firing it completely transforms into pure silver (usually 99.9% pure silver, also known as fine silver). Silver clay contains microscopically fine particles of silver powder, a binding agent and water. The binder helps hold the particles together, making the clay malleable. During the baking process, the binder burns and the water evaporates, leaving only the pure silver. This makes the finished product truly silver and it can be treated in the same way as any other silver item. You can do soldering, polishing, oxidation treatments and much more.
After firing, the Art Clay Silver 950 Professional consists of 95.0% real silver, the remainder is copper.
How long does the clay last?
Normally, silver clay in unopened containers has a long shelf life, often several years, as long as it is stored according to recommended conditions. Once the package is opened, the clay may dry out over time if not sealed properly. It can then harden and become less malleable. In general, it is not recommended to store silver clay in the refrigerator. Silver clay and other similar malleable metal clays are generally stored at room temperature, in a dry place, protected from direct sunlight and moisture.
Where does the clay go of silver clay and metal clay?
Silver and metal clay is no ordinary clay you get out of the ground. We call it clay because it is malleable. Silver and metal clay consist of 3 elements, microscopic (precious) metal powder, binder and water. The binder hold the moisture and this ensures that it attaches to the (noble) metal so that it does not fall apart and that it is malleable.
Where then continues the water and the binder?
The water evaporates into the air, or a heat source, the clay will change from soft to hard. It is very important that all the moisture is from the clay before it is baked. Otherwise the workpiece is broken.
The binder is composed of cellulose. The binder burnt (like paper) when it comes out above a certain temperature, and is heated for a certain period of time.
Is Art Clay Silver safe to use?
Yes, all Silver Clay products are safe and nontoxic and wear the ACMI "AP" seal. The manufacturer of Art Clay Silver is a member of Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI). The seal signifies that the product has been tested for chemical and toxicological materials and found safe. The product can be used safely by children and can not cause acute or chronic reactions when used regularly.
Is the final result is strong?
The strength is co-determined by the hardness of the metal, as copper and bronze are much stronger than silver. Also, the temperature to which the workpiece is fired, and the firing time to play a role in the hardness of the final product. 2 hours at about 900 °C is the maximum shrinkage and maximum hardness.
We recommend the regular silver clay oven temperature of around 820 ° C for at least 10 minutes but the strength is 1 to 2 hours more.
New to the market is Art Clay Silver 950 Professional. This clay is made up of a blend of 90% fine silver, and 10% copper, binder, and water. After baking the silver is 95.0% silver and 60% faster than regular silver clay just fine silver. Perfect for papers commissioned and sales. The clay must be baked in an oven in two phases. (1st phase 500 °C for 10 min, 2nd stage 870 °C for a minimum of 1 hour and allowed to cool to cold)
How how long should I dry the clay?
The drying time is in a conventional oven (100 °C) for about 10 minutes, with a blow dryer for 20 minutes, and only allowed to air dry your clay is dried after 24 hours (very thick pieces take longer). The new Art Clay Silver 950 Profesional has a bit longer drying time.
You can check the dryness by placing your piece on a hot mirror. If vapor on the mirror then stores the piece has still more drying.
My piece is broken before firing. How can I fix it?
If your dried piece is broken, you can perform a repair with the Silver Clay paste or silver clay syringe. Be sure to wet the dried clay before adjusting the paste so that the dried clay does not pull moisture from the paste. The paste is a thin form of the silver clay you dilute with some distilled water.
The new Art Clay Silver 950 Professional still exists only in clay form, you can make easy your own paste with leftover clay. The regular silver clay and the new Art Clay Silver 950 Professional can be combined. So you can fix your work with the regular silver clay paste.
My work piece is broken after baking. How can this be?
The metal particles in the clay consist of tiny little balls. These melt balls which on the surface at a certain temperature but retain their form. The longer the temperature is maintained for the deeper the layer of liquid will be and the hitting parts fusing together. The longer it is baked, the tighter so. If the workpiece is not heated long enough than the metal particles are not melted properly attached to each other, if the workpiece is not hot enough to melt the particles then they are not fired at all to each other. Of course, it may also be that a compound was not well finished or the workpiece is simply made to thin.
Repair is possible with Overlay paste or with the new Paste.
How can I fire silver clay?
Regular Art Clay Silver is bake 3 ways, the new Art Clay Silver 950 Professional is only in the oven.
1: With a grille on the gasstove,
2: With a micro torch,
3: In a special hobby kiln (kiln or enamel rob). Fire your silver clay always long enough off better too long than too short. The larger your workpiece, the longer it must be Fired. Look at the product heating table to see which method you can use and how long it needs to be baked.
My clay is fired, what now?
If your clay is fired, you can check whether it is properly fired (when cold) by dropping it gently on a hard surface. Your piece should sound like metal. If it sounds dull work the silver not sintered well. Fire the workpiece again until the silver is fully sintered. If your silver clay is fully sintered you gonna brush the silver with a very fine steel wire brush. You can then use the abrasive mats, abrasive discs (Dremel) or other materials such as, for example, a polishing needle for a high gloss finish.
I can fire an sterling silver ring?
Sterling silver of the jeweler consists a certain percentage of silver 92.5%, and often a portion of another metal. This silver is harder than 99.9% fine silver. The problem is that is sterling silver oxidizes turns black at high temperatures. The temperature to fire with sterling silver is also important, bake no hotter than 750 °C due to embrittlement of the alloy used. The best for sterling silveris to be baked in active carbon, it sees to it that oxygen is kept away from the workpiece so that it will not turn black. In addition, silver clay shrinks about 9% because the binder will burn out. There must therefore be taken to ensure that the silver clay does not come lose from the existing ring.
How can I keep silver clay?
The silver clay should be stored airtight, cool and dark. A sealed bag of Silver Clay can be stored for about a year. Once opened, you can get the best clay wrapped in cling film surrounded by a damp cloth to keep in a close jar. An empty jar of cream or photo roll tube lends itself perfectly for. If there is a closing strip is present in the container (20g or 50g) than the original packaging can also be used.
My clay is dehydrated can I use it again?
What you can do is the dried clay is smaller by eg rolling over with a glass bottle so you get little bits gegruisde clay. Caution: Do not try fine with metal to make because you polish the silver in the clay.
With you can now add a few squirts of water a spray bottle of distilled water to the small pieces of clay (powder) and then grab it right in clingfilm in covered with a damp cloth. Stop the clay now with the cloth in a sealable jar and let this nice withdraw a few hours to a day, the longer the better.
Check the clay and knead it into the film by each other, hard pieces can be felt. Do not add too much water in the temptation, as the clay is still too dry you can add a puff of water. (You can also count drops instead puffs). When the clay is good, he does not stick more to the film or on your hands. If the clay is too wet, you can let some air drying but beware of heat, as the clay is too hot dry weather too fast and you can start again.