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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Joy of Metal Clay: Inspirations from Helen Breil

I have mentioned Helen Breil before in my blog posts. She is an Ontario based polymer clay artist. She has designed awesome texture sheets that many of my students (and myself of course) love. These textures can be bought through Shades of Clay.

She has developed many tutorials that she offers for sale on her blog. Although these tutorials are made for polymer clay they can sometimes be adapted for metal clay. The things to keep in mind when adapting polymer clay techniques are:

  1. Generally metal clay dries fast

  2. Generally metal clay needs to to shaped quickly and will crack if forced once it starts drying

  3. Generally metal clay won't stretch

In the above list I say "generally" as each type of metal clay has its one special properties. For example, I was just working with Art Clay Copper today and it was not very cooperative, cracking constantly. I have found in the past that CopprClay brand copper is stretchier, won't dry and fast and can be shaped easily with support.

Helen is working on new polymer clay tutorials. She sent me a sample and they are quitecreative and fun. I just created a version with Art Clay Copper. As I mentioned above the clay was not very cooperative and probably not the best medium to adapt a polymer clay technique. I persevered and here is the result.

This is not as awesome as Helen's actual polymer clay samples. I also think with different metal clays and textures the results would be even better.


Cindy said...

Have you tried using copper clay powder? I've found that it doesn't dry out as badly as the prepackaged brands.

Fine Silver Girl said...

Yeah, I have a long time ago but I haven't had success firing it. That being said I have been meaning to go back to it. I find the CopprClay is pretty good too. I just go through phases of trying things out and Art Clay copper was the type I was using this week. Thanks for the thought though.