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Beading Resources > Ask the Experts

Topics: Metal Clay, Dried

Q.
I had some left over Art Clay and wrapped it back into the original packaging. When I went to work with it again a few weeks later, it crumbled. I added some water and put it back in the packaging but it is still in pieces. Can you suggest another way of reconstituting it?
- Mary
A.
Place the clay into a suitable receptacle, and using a tool, break the dried clay into as tiny pieces as is possible. I like to work in a very sturdy bowl and use a metal tool to help expedite the process. Transfer the dried clay to a container that has an airtight seal. Add water and seal the container. Check the condition of the clay after 24 hours and add more water if needed. Once the clay becomes softer, try to work the water into the clay until it can be fully incorporated. Add more water if the clay is too stiff. Continue with this process until the clay is back to the condition it was in when you first opened the sealed package.

For the future, once opened, the clay should not be stored in the original packaging as it is no longer airtight. I store packaged clay in an airtight container along with a damp paper towel, and any opened clay is wrapped in plastic wrap, put into a zip top back along with a damp paper towel and that package is placed inside the airtight container. After time, the clay will lose moisture so I try to remember to rewet all paper towels as needed.

- Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator

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