Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Joy of Metal Clay - The rising cost of SILVER...clay

It was bound to happen... Silver metal clay has gone up in price. This past week I received an announcement from Art Clay World which stated:

"As you may know, since May, 2009 the price of silver has gone up from around $13 an ounce to today’s price of over $41 an ounce. During that time, the price of Art Clay Silver™ has remained stable, despite the tripling of the silver market. In addition, costs in all aspects of silver metal clay production have increased dramatically. The manufacturer has also had to factor in the decrease in the amount of recyclable material due, in part, to the increase in digital technology. Aida Chemical Industries can no longer absorb these increases and has announced a price increase on its silver clay series. This increase is world–wide, and all distributors are affected. " Alas, efforts to make your clay go further continues to be a important for our pocketbooks. Some solutions to do this are as follows:

  • If you are making a sculptural piece; make it hollow (rather than solid). Use cork clay (make sure the cork is dry) and mold your piece over this. I scupted an acorn this way (cant' find the picture.

  • Make pieces with voids or holes in them. This allows you to make a piece that is larger without using as much clay.

  • Reclaim all your dry bits you don't want to fire. I posted ways to reconstitute or reclaim your dry silver clay last fall. Here is a link to it!!!

  • Finger Bowl. Whenever I work I have a little finger bowl to collect any of the silver clay off my fingers. Also I use a sponge to wipe up bits of clay and to wipe my hands. The clay will settle to the bottom of the bowl and you can pour off the water and you have paste. (I rinse all the clay out of the sponge into the bowl too reclaim that too!)

Any other ideas please share!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sad isn't it, that the price has skyrocketed for Art Clay Silver. I plan to work more with Bronz Clay. Different to work with, but beautiful!