Presented by Lisa Pavelka, Award-Winning Artist, Author and Instructor,
Instructions by Andrew, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
You don’t have to use a kiln to fire all your Art Clay® silver jewelry pieces. Prominent mixed media artist Lisa Pavelka explains how to torch fire a silver clay piece in this quick project and metal clay tutorial.
Metal clay can be fired using a hand-held butane torch.
Note: For projects with glass cabochons or fire-able stones larger than 5mm, a kiln is required.
Important: Before torching, make sure proper safety measures are in place:
Secure any loose hair or clothing
Work in a well-ventilated space
Place the piece being fired onto a firing block
Ignite the torch at least 10-12 inches away from any flammable object
If able, dim the lights in the room slightly.
Ignite the butane torch by holding down the safety lock and pushing the ignition button. Once lit, pull back on the lock to keep the torch lit without having to hold the ignition button.
Hold the torch approximately 3 - 4 inches away from the piece being fired and pass the flame evenly over all areas.
Continue to heat the clay until a light salmon glow appears.
Do not be alarmed if small flames appear. The flames are caused by the cellulose binder in the clay burning away.
The metal clay may start to curl. This is normal and should return to a flat shape shortly. If it doesn't, use a leather mallet against a rubber block to flatten the piece.
It may be necessary to adjust the height of the flame by pulling back or moving in the torch. If the clay gets too hot, it will turn shiny. Shiny areas are in danger of burning so pull the flame back slightly.
Continue to heat the metal clay for a total of about three minutes.
Note: Larger pieces may need additional heating time.
When finished, turn off the torch by sliding the lock forward. Place the torch upright away from yourself or others while the tip is hot.
Pick up the metal clay using a pair of tweezers and place into a jar of water to cool.
Note: If the metal clay contains any glass cabochons or stones, do not drop it into water to cool.
If desired, polish the metal clay by hand or by placing into a tumbler.
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