Delving into the art of silver clay jewellery making? Silver clay jewellery expert Lori Ridgway of Lori Ridgway Jewellery provides us with a list of her top 5 essential silver clay tools to help you get started. Discover all the key silver clay equipment you need to make sure your designs are the best they can be in our video and blog below.
Here’s your silver clay starter kit:
Badger balm –
The first essential silver clay tool is Badger Balm. You need Badger Balm for wherever your clay is going to touch any items, like your worksheet, tile or roller.
Place a little bit of Badger Balm on your tile and roller to stop the clay from sticking and potentially ruin your design. Top tip: rub some balm on your hands to stop your clay from sticking to them as well.
Badger Balm provides relief for hands and stops PMC & Art Clay from sticking to fingers and the workplace.
Clay Shapers / Rubber Tipped Tools –
The second essential tool for using silver clay is rubber tipped, clay shaper tools.
The clay shaper tools come in four or five different ends so that you can use them for different processes as you go along with your silver clay. They’re ideal for moving the clay around without causing any dents or dinks in the clay as you go along.
What’s more you can move syringe clay with it as well. If you put a little bit of water on the end of your needle tool, you can use the shaper tool to smooth out or take away any excess clay that’s left over.
The set we recommend above has been specially designed for miniature scale work. Cleans in seconds and nothing sticks to the tips!
Clay scraper tool –
Number three in the list of silver clay tools is the clay scraper
Otherwise known as a clay cutter, this flexible safety blade with a curved edge is particularly good for cutting metal clay.
It’s also good for lifting and moving clay, especially if you’ve got longer nails and you don’t want to leave any marks or punctures in your design. Not only this, but you can use your clay scraper tool to move your pieces on and off the hot plate so that you don’t burn your fingers during the process.
However, be aware that if you do use your clay tool to move your piece, to carefully put your hand over the piece so that you don’t accidentally drop it on the floor and smash it!
Spacers and rollers
These two items are grouped together as they’re always used in conjunction with each other. The roller and spacers are the fourth most handy tool for working with silver clay.
Spacers are an essential part of clay jewellery making.
When creating a finished piece with your silver clay, you generally need at least two different thicknesses of spacers. These plastic spacers for ensuring your clay is rolled to the correct thickness without having to use playing cards. Simply put the spacers on either side of your clay, and use a roller to roll out the clay to an even thickness.
The clear acrylic roller is used as a rolling pin, alongside our plastic spacers to roll out your PMC to the desired thickness. The diameter of the roller is 25 mm and the length is 175 mm. Looking to add texture to your piece? Use your roller over your clay on a textured sheet, in between two spacers.
Needle tool –
Finally, the needle tool is a useful tool that is perfect for adding those finishing touches to your silver clay piece
The needle tool is efficient at cutting out wet clay, especially if you’re tracing round your pattern to cut your clay out. If you’re going to have an inside shape in your piece, it’s also very good for lifting the inside piece out once you’ve cut it.
Another thing the needle tool is great for is once you’ve got your dry piece of clay, you can draw a pattern on it, put a little bit of water over the top and then scrape over the top of your pattern, and that’ll give you a nice engraved pattern in your piece of jewellery.
Find everything you need for working with silver clay at Cooksongold
These are my top five essential silver clay tools, that will hopefully these help you get started in your silver clay jewellery making journey! Browse our full range of PMC clay and jewellery tools online.