Cool Tools Brand Products
Tools & Equipment
Chain & Wire
Kilns & Firing
Finishes & Embellishments
Templates & Stencils
What is Metal Clay?
Metal clay is a jewelry making material that can be used by just about anyone to create jewelry and small decorative objects. Metal clay is made from powdered metal mixed with water and organic binder.
Metal clay handles similar to traditional modeling clays, and after dried, it is transformed into a solid object through a firing process. During firing, the binder is burned away and the metal particles "sinter" into a solid form. Sintering is the process of making a powdered material (in this case, metal clay) coalesce into a solid mass by heating it to a very high temperature, just below the point of liquefaction.
There are several types of metal clay available: fine silver, sterling silver, gold, copper, bronze and steel. Each type of metal clay has unique firing requirements because each metal has a different melting point.
For the beginner, fine silver clay is the easiest and quickest way to experience metal clay because there are so many options for firing, including low cost hand held butane torches. All metal clays are optimally fired in a jewelry kiln and some require special firing methods. The overview below will give you the basics on the different types of metal clay and their firing requirements to help you decide which clay to begin your adventures with.
Types of Metal Clay & Firing Requirements
Cool Tools carries almost every brand of fine silver clay that is available. FS999 ™, Phoenix Torch Fireable Clay, Art Clay Silver, Metal Magic and Project X. All of these fine silver clays are made from powdered fine silver that is .999 in purity and considered pure silver or "fine" silver.
Fine silver clay is the easiest and fastest of all metal clays to fire. In as little as 2 minutes you can transform dry clay into a pure fine silver object.
Minimum Firing Time: 2 minutes
Firing Options: Torch, enameling kiln, jewelry kiln
Sterling Silver Clay
EZ960® Sterling, Metal Magic Sterling, Art Clay 950 and Project X 960 are silver metal clays that are made of fine silver, copper and other metals. This type of mixture is called an "alloy" and results in a metal that is far stronger than pure fine silver. Metals are alloyed to enhance or impart characteristics that are lacking in the main metal. Fine silver is a metal that is easily dented and scratched. By adding other metals, an alloy with greater strength is created. Sterling Silver allows jewelry artists the ability to make thinner, more delicate jewelry that meets any jewelers standard for durability.
Minimum Firing Time: 1 hour
Firing Options: Kiln Fire - Open Shelf, Carbon Firing
Gold clay is 22K alloy of fine silver and gold. 22K means there is 22 parts pure gold and 2 parts some other metal. Gold clay requires a kiln and cannot be torch fired.
Firing Options: Enameling kiln, jewelry kiln
Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Bronze is a very hard metal and is the strongest of all the metal clays available. We offer many types of Bronze Clay. BRONZclay and FASTfire BRONZclay by Metal Adventures, Inc, Hadar Jacobson, Goldie and Aussie. The difference between BRONZclay and FASTfire BRONZclay is the firing time required, the shrinkage, and the color of the finished metal. Hadar Jacobson and Goldie Clay are powdered clays. Aussie Metal Clay is available in powder form or lump form. Powdered clays are distinctive in that the artist adds water to create the amount of clay wanted or necessary, with the powdered remainder having an extended shelf life.
BRONZclay is fired according to the thickness of the finished piece. The thicker the clay, the slower the firing. The thinner the piece, the faster the firing. This version shrinks about 25% during firing and is a warm bronze color.
Minimum Firing Time: 3 hours, 4 hours is average
Firing Options: Carbon Firing (kiln required)
Copper clay is made of pure copper. Brands available at Cool Tools include Cyprus™ Copper Clay, Metal Adventures, Aussie Metal Clay, Goldie Clay and Hadar Jacobson.
Minimum Firing Time: 5 minutes
Firing Options: Torch or Carbon Firing (kiln required)
Discover all of our Cool Tools products and our great line of cool stuff for working with metal clay! Clay Hydrator, Cool Slip, Templates, Patina Gel, ClayMate, Ultra Clay Pick, Texture Tiles, Slik, Clay Rollers, Clay Thickness Rolling Frames, Tuff Cards, Jewel Stamps, Quality Stamps for Wet Clay and more!