Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Joy of Metal Clay: Oil Paste - What is it good for?

Last week I talked about Art Clay Overlay Paste. This week I will talk about Oil Pastes.

Oil Paste can be bought (Art Clay has a brand) or it can be made using regular paste and lavender oil.

Oil Paste is meant to bond already fired metal clay pieces together. Of note: regular paste can work as well but I have found that at sometimes the Oil Pastes will give you better bond).

Oil Paste differs from Overlay Paste (which I discussed last week) in that the minimum firing temperature is 1475F.

I use oil paste for several purposes: to repair already fired metal clay; to bond fine silver bezel wire for bezel setting; and to reduce the size of rings (my little trick is that I have found that a thin layer of oil paste on the inside of a ring that is too big can adjust the size ever so slightly.)

You can make your own oil paste by adding several drops of lavender oil (I have heard other essential oils will work too) to your regular metal clay paste.

Specific instructions this to make Oil Paste can be found on this link to the PMC Guild's article on Oil Paste. This article has some interesting information from their tests of homemade oil paste, Art Clay Oil Paste and regular PMC slip/paste.

Final Note: I realized that in writing this that there are two terms that are used in reference to paste. Paste or Slip. Slip is the term potters often used to refer to paste. The are can be used interchangeably but I find that paste is more commonly used with regards to metal clay.

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