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Thread: Help! How do I repair my fired art clay?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    8

    Default Help! How do I repair my fired art clay?

    Hello - sorry about being a complete beginner.

    I have a heart shape made from art clay, fired by using a torch, which was not a very good replica - so I thought perhaps I could "repair" it by using art clay paste on it, and then "re-firing" it, also with a torch.

    This has not turned out very well! So how would anyone else do it? Should I have used soldering items, such as safety pickle, and pallions?

    I would very much appreciate any help here.

    Thank you.
    Helen Stocking

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    I'm not really sure Helen. Could you fuse it to some fine silver sheet? If it were me, I think I'd put it down to experience and make another piece and roll it a bit thicker this time.

  3. #3
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    Hi Helen,

    Some years back several people would have come forward with advice on this, but recently there seems to have been a decline in users of clay.

    Most of us have experience of clay and dough from our pre-school days, so it is not surprising that some aspiring jewellers have seen it as a way to start making without the need for traditional jewellery skills. As you are finding out there is in fact quite a steep learning curve but all the new skills needed lead to a dead end, because all you are doing ultimately is using dough.

    I would recommend that you make a start on working with sheet and wire and learning to drill, saw,solder and make simple rub down settings. Copper is a relatively inexpensive material, compared with clay and if you look at our current competition you will see it used to make marvelous things.

    Regards, Dennis.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    Thank you very much indeed! I went to two different classes to learn how to make art clay into pendants and charms. The other two I went to were to learn (a little bit) of how to use silver sheets and saw it and solder it. But doing it on one's own is not quite the same! Now I fear I might get it wrong.
    But thank you both very much - I always appreciate your answers!
    Helen

  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Romsey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    ...recently there seems to have been a decline in users of clay.
    When the price of silver hiked, I think it put off a lot of people who had previously viewed it as an entry-level expense.

  6. #6
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    I don't necessarily agree. You can get some lovely effects using silver clay if you go beyond just cutting out shapes. It's not my cup of tea as I love working with the actual metal but I would work on making your clay pieces very special Helen but don't rule out using sheet eventually.

    Maybe the reason clay workers don't post on here is because they think we may think we're a little superior?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    I don't agree either and tbh, with there is a sense on here that it is an inferior skill, so it's not surprising people might be put off.

    You can get lovely effects with clay and do really interesting things with it, but sometimes it's just useful if you need to do something quickly. For example, my rolling mill decided to stop working properly just before Christmas and I was in the middle of texturing some silver sheet to cut into small charms for earrings, pendants and bracelets for christmas stock as these have been selling well earlier in December. I turned to art clay silver to make the charms, it was more expensive but it was quick so the cost of materials/labour was offset and I fired them in a kiln for added strength. Do I feel guilty about using clay. Absolutely not!
    Kym

    I'm hoping for world peace but I'd also like something shiny as well...


    www.kymbigwood.com

  8. #8
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    Romsey
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    The main reason I still haven't opened the pack I've got is everything I think of using it for I can make with other methods... If it isn't making use of the unique properties of that material, then it seems daft to use it just because it's there.

  9. #9
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    That's very true Peter but there are some things that would make sense to make with silver clay. It's great for beginners to be able to make things quickly and simply and may inspire them to progress to more difficult things. I hope people don't feel embarrassed about using it. There are thousands of people who use it and it would be lovely if they joined us on here and showed us their stuff. Since the lovely Nicola (remember her?) left here, there's been a dearth of clay users on here. I wouldn't like this site to get too elitist.

  10. #10
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    I've not used clay much but I remember when I tried it for the first time finding it quite exciting that you could make something so simply using a torch. It didn't matter as much then if you made a mess of it though but the price of it now means that you don't open a packet unless you know exactly what you want to do with it and you use it all up. I don't like the wastage when I can more often than not find a use for off cuts of silver.
    There is definitely a great skill in using clay and I think you are perhaps either a constructing metal person or a clay artist, I'm the former I think who uses occasional accents of clay for interest

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