Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sharing One Interesting and Artistically Useful Thing A Day For a New Metal Clayer Project

I have a huge pile of fabulous art books and magazines and finding time to sit down and go through them when I have books like "The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" in my Kindle. I have come up with a plan.. each morning I'm going to go through one of the volumes and then post something from each session here on the blog.
My focus is to learn metal clay techniques that will work with torch or stovetop firing . I'm a long way from investing in a kiln, altho there are some stovetop ones that may work for me...
Today's reading session was with the September 2009 Issue of Art Jewelry. I was drawn to an article by Holly Gage - Burned Out on the Hollow Form- turn negative spaces inside out with metal clay designs.
Negative Space Earrings by Holly Gage
I learned that metal clay can be caned in a way similar to polymer clay is but instead of using a contrasting colour you can use a combustible cork or paper clay that will burn off during firing to create a negative space! Cork Clay looks like a "must have " item! The big downer is that it's not recommended with torch firing.....
How many polymer clayers are thinking... "hmmm how can I do that with polymer and a water dissoving substance.... ?"


  1. Can be done with beeswax (with polymer) to make the negative space! Great idea, by the way, challenging yourself to look through stuff each day...

  2. Thanks Claire- I think you solved the issue for those pc clayers!


  3. Great idea Gera.. look forward to your daily posts.. and thanks for adding to our addictions..

    Also, the cornstarch peanuts are another option for negative space.

  4. There is a lot of controversy regarding torch firing metal clay. Some people feel that torch firing will never produce a strong-enough piece and say the manufacturers are being dishonest in claiming that it will. Others say people are under-firing with the torch and that is why pieces are weak. Apparently a lot of torch-fired pieces break. There is also the issue of fumes. If you are sitting right over a piece of metal clay while torching it, you will breathe in a lot of fumes which can be dangerous depending on which kind of clay you are using. Some people won't even be in the room while firing with a kiln. You also need eye protection for staring at a torch flame. There are special glasses made for that. After doing a lot of reading, I have decided not to get into metal clay until I can afford a kiln and a ventilation method for it.


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