Have you heard of metal clay?



tree of life necklace
by peaces of indigo

Ever since I started my jewelry business at the end of 2010, I have been looking for different ways to expand my art. I delight, sometimes enviously, over the skills that other jewelry designers have cultivated and employ when creating their pieces. One such jewelry art form that I covet the most is the use of metal clay in jewelry design.

Metal clay, often known by its brand names as Precious Metal Clay (PMC) or Art Clay, was developed in Japan in the 1990s as an eco-friendly way to recycle fine silver and gold. A powder of these recycled fine metals is mixed with organic binders to create a clay. The clay can be molded, shaped into various forms, and set with stones before it drys. When fired, the organic binders break down, causing some shrinkage but leaving behind 99.9% pure silver or gold. That material in turn can then be burnished, tumbled, antiqued, or polished like any other piece of silver or gold. Other metals like bronze and steel are available in this form, too. Pretty fascinating, right?

On my list of future business investments, metal clay takes high precedence. While I dream up various creations to try when my chance to work with metal clay arrives, I like to admire the work of other jewelry artists. Take a peak at these beautiful pieces, featuring fine silver, gold, and two-tone metal clay work, by various artists on Etsy.

Fine Silver PMC Genuine Turquoise Sterling Silver Earrings
by beadinbythesea

Sea Foam Earrings
by saffire jewelry

Bronze Clay and Brass Butterfly Ring – Starburt Pattern
by roundhousejewelry

Silver rose campion flower with ruby center
by SilverBlueberry

Silver Roman Coin, Emerald, Garnet, and Amber Bracelet
by asterrisk

Simulated yellow diamond and 22k gold engagement wedding ring
by peaces of indigo

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debora
    Jul 26, 2011 @ 15:50:20

    You’ve written a great article here about metal clay Jess! Thank you for featuring my work and I hope you get to try working with it soon!

    Reply

  2. Lisa
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 15:08:28

    Thanks for including my bronze butterfly ring! I love metal clays and the possibilities are endless. I hope you find the time to try it!
    Thanks again – Lisa (RoundHouseJewelry)

    Reply

  3. SilverBlueberry
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 13:30:12

    Wonderful picks of items made with a great technique! Thank you for featuring one of my pieces! 🙂

    Reply

  4. Alisa
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 23:35:40

    Thanks so much for including me in this! I remember when I was in your place, and was so intrigued by PMC. When I finally tried it, I loved it, and I still do. So many possibilities! When you get a chance, give it a try. Have fun!
    Alisa
    (asterrisk jewelry)

    Reply

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