Monday, August 8, 2011

Metal Clay Rescue

Thought you had toss your old, dried up metal clay?  Think again!

A few years ago at Christmas, my loving and oh so generous husband gifted me with a complete PMC Clay starter kit.  It had everything but a kiln.

Believe it or not, I wasn't smitten with it. I never liked the feel of a newspaper under my finger tips, and so I never read the paper.  It was the same with the metal clay.  I'm no sculptor to begin with, and the feel of the moist clay under my fingers was yucky.  Not to mention the left over residue that was hell getting off once it dried.  With that, the clay went into a drawer never to been seen or heard from again...until now!

A while back I was inspired to pull it out, but it was all dried up & solid as a brick.  Even completely sealed, never opened packages were hard as a rock.  Metal Clay has a shelf life, who knew!  Although all dried and completely unusable, I couldn't bring myself to toss it.  I've been known to waste my share of money, however, wasting anothers hard earned dough is a thought I cannot bear.  So back in the drawer it went.  Until now!
Just last week I picked up the most recent copy of Metal Clay Magazine all because of a spread on photographing jewelry.  As I'm flipping through the pages I see in big letters "Reconstituting Silver Metal Clay" - what timing! 

A great article by Lisa Cain on how she recycles her not-yet-fired dried up metal clay.  Guess what?  A coffee grinder is all you need to turn that dried up silver clay into moist sculpt-able pieces.  The concept is simple; add small amounts of the dried clay to the grinder and grind to a fine powder.  Move your fine powder to  bowl, slowly add drops of water mixing the powder into a clay.  Voila, you have refurbished metal clay ready for sculpting & firing.

I cannot wait to put this to the test!  I do need to fulfill my current wholesale and custom commitments before I can *play* with any new ideas.  But boy are they brewing.  I'll let you know how I do in a follow-up post.  In the meantime, I'd love to know your thoughts on the topic.