Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sterling work: new sterling silver clay announced by PMC

Yesterday (1/11/11) Mitsubishi announced that they are going to start retailing sterling silver clay. This is an interesting and welcome development in the world of metal clay.
Up until now silver clay from all manufacturers has been 999 fine silver. This means that 99.9% of the silver is made up of silver particles, the rest is copper. 999 fine silver can be hallmarked but in the UK 925 sterling silver is still the most widely recognised form of silver. The Metal Clay Academy website is an excellent and impartial resource if you are interested in finding out more about this fantastic material. 

The recipe for sterling silver clay was made available earlier this year through the experimentation of Lisa Cain, director of the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery. The full recipe was made freely available when it was published in Volume 2 number 2 issue of Metal Clay Artist magazine. It can be made by blending the correct combination of fine silver clay and copper clay. However, this new product to the market is likely to make the use of sterling silver clay more widespread. Sterling silver is a lot stronger than fine silver so is a good choice for making rings, for example.

The instructions insert in the new PMC sterling silver clay states that it needs to be fired twice, once to fire away the binder and then, after cooling, fired again in carbon. This means that it is not accessible to beginners who can only torch fire their piece and those without a kiln.

The price of the clay has yet to be announced. With large price increases over the last year it will be interesting to see the cost of the 25g pack.

1 comment:

  1. Celie Fago has written an excellent blog post about her testing of PMC sterling


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