Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Joy of Metal Clay: Extruders

I have finally got myself an extruder, this morning. This tool is something I have been wanting to purchase for a while; now I need one for Hadar Jacobson's metal clay class at the end of March.

There are three popular extruders on the market:

  • Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder (made of steel)

  • Makin's Professional (green one made of aluminum)

  • Walnut Hollow

Off I went this morning to Michea'ls to see what I could find. Personally, I kind of wanted a Makin's Extruder as you can purchase a variety of tips included tube making tips, but I also didn't want to wait for it to be shipped tas I wanted to play with it tonight with my son as we work on some clay pieces together (Family Day Weekend!!!).

I could only find the Walnut Hollow Extruder at the Micheal's I visited. My research online has alluded that Micheal's does not carry the Makin's line anymore (I am not sure about the validity of this information but I couldn't find it at the store today).

No matter, I bought the Walnut Hollow Extruder using my 40% coupon. I will let you know what I think of it after I get a chance to play with it.

If you are looking for an extruder and want to order it online Shades of Clay carries all of the popular extruders on the marker and a variety of extra Makin's discs (including the tube making discs).

Makin's Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder (photo from Shades of Clay). This extruder is made of steel and was popular for metal clay artists aluminum can react with silver clay. It is pricier than the others but is definately a solid extruder.

Makin's Professional Extruder (photo from Shades of Clay). This extruder as I mentioned is made of Aluminum, but if you don't leave your silver clay in the extruder you shouldn't have any problems.

Walnut Hollow Extruder (photo from Shades of Clay). I am not certain as to what this extruder is made of. Of note, the back of the package says: "Not for use with Precious Metal Clay". Hmmm, I am not sure why or what they mean as this extruder is the recommended extruder on Hadar's class tool list. I would guess the metal is made of may very well be aluminum, so again I would recommend not leaving your clay in it (not a good idea anyway as it will dry out!). The extruder comes with a nice case to keep the extruder and discs in and come with three extra rubber washers. I have read that some people find it easier to push the clay through, it has a crank mechanism. The only down side is it isn't clear as to wether you can get additional discs for this extruder or whether the Makin's Dics will fit. I will let you know what I think.

One final note, Hadar has information on her site about making your own extruder and discs for your extruder. Here is the Link. I did try and find the items to make your own extruder at Home Depot but they didn't know what a drip stopper was and couldn't help me on finding that essential piece, Hadar does provide information for ordering the items needed to make this but I like the challenge of finding the items locally. I will let you know if I find out where you get these items in Canda.

If any of you have comments or preferences about your extruders please share.


Lois Moon said...

Thanks for the info! I'm looking forward to hearing about how the extruder works. said...

I have one of makins and picked up one of the Walnut hollow from michaels - really wanted a green one. I found out that all the discs from makins will fit the walnut hollow and vise versa - the tube making disc's will also fit the walnut hollow unit as well. I ordered the tub discs (small and large) so cant wait to try it out.