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Chains out of metal clay


#1

Can you make chains out of metal clay, and if so, how do they hold
up?

Priscilla Fritsch


#2
Can you make chains out of metal clay, and if so, how do they hold
up? 

Yes, you can, . I have never made a chain specifically, but
metal clay items hold up quite well, thank you.

I suggest firing at 1650 for 2 hours for greatest tensile strength.

Elaine
Metalsmith since 1990
and Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#3

I use cork clay and roll the cork clay and then place sheet over it.
So far I have had no problems or complaints.


#4

People have done this, but why would you? It would be more labor
intensive and MUCH more expensive.

Fabricating in this instance just makes sense. Remember, no one said
that MC was going to replace traditional fabricating.

Laura


#5
I use cork clay and roll the cork clay and then place sheet over
it. So far I have had no problems or complaints. 

Please elaborate…? What is “cork clay”, what are its properties,
and why is it called that? I am guessing it must be something used
for pmc bead cores, that either melts or burns out at sintering temp?
Its late, and I’m too tired to look it up.

Lisa, (cat dead asleep, upside down, sprawled across comfy
me…think I will try same on comfy bed.) Topanga, CA USA

Lisa Bialac-Jehle
http://www.byzantia.com


#6
Can you make chains out of metal clay, and if so, how do they hold
up? 

Of course you can, but it’s a lot easier to make chains from
sterling or gold wire. The difficulty with making a chain from metal
clay is the firing aspect, just as the difficulty with making a chain
from standard metals is the soldering aspect (i.e., just soldering
where you want, not the other links that are attached). But people
have successfully done chain via Metal Clay in the past.

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co


#7
People have done this, but why would you? It would be more labor
intensive and MUCH more expensive. 

Well, it depends on the chain. Mostly, I agree–especially for
anything dainty. But, some years ago, I made a series of chains out
of PMC with links that were tied in knots. I made them all in one
piece, laid them out zig-zag to fire so they wouldn’t pull apart
from the shrinkage.

I could not have made these chains nearly as well any other way,
though I guess they would be possible in wax if I cut each link,
cast, assembled and re-soldered. The PMC was a lot quicker and
easier for this design.

I will say, the very first one has had to be repaired three times,
even though the links are quite thick and heavy. (This was original
PMC) The links just cracked open. Maybe I didn’t fire it well
enough. The others have been fine-- or, at least, they haven’t come
back!

Noel


#8

Noel,

I could not have made these chains nearly as well any other way,
though I guess they would be possible in wax if I cut each link,
cast, assembled and re-soldered. The PMC was a lot quicker and
easier for this design.

You could have just tied knots in the wire, instead of worrying
about firing the PMC, I would think, but it would depend on the
knots. I’d love to see a picture.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com


#9
What is "cork clay", what are its properties, and why is it called
that? I am guessing it must be something used for pmc bead cores,
that either melts or burns out at sintering temp? 

Yes, that’s what it is. It’s made of cork, is lovely to work with,
completely burns out during firing.

You can get from Rio and other places. Now there is a new product
called Wood Clay that may be replacing cork clay.

Elaine
Metalsmith since 1990
and Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#10

For some interesting ‘chains’ made using metal clay, check out
Barbara Becker Simon’s large, textured designs (see “PMC Decade” and
CeCe Wire’s new book [Lark Publ.]). Barbara’s designs could not be
made using any method other than metal clay, as efficiently, with as
much detail or be as comfortably wearable.

Fine gauge links, of course, are impractical in metal clay.

Linda Kaye-Moses


#11

Hi, Loren,

You could have just tied knots in the wire, instead of worrying
about firing the PMC, I would think, but it would depend on the
knots. I'd love to see a picture. 

Actually, I don’t seem to have a picture, sad to say. I rolled
"snakes" with thick and thin, so it would be a real pain to do with
wire-- the center of each link was about 4mm thick, tapered and each
end wrapped around the middle to make kind of a figure-eight, but
funky. Could be done with soft wax, but actual metal… ouch!

Noel


#12

Noel,

Actually, I don't seem to have a picture, sad to say. I rolled
"snakes" with thick and thin, so it would be a real pain to do
with 

Okay, that gives me a mental image. I see your point, definitely.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com


#13

Priscilla - Not sure when you say chains if you’re talking fine
links to hang a pendant on or more substantial links. I’ve made two
bracelets and a 26" neckchain from Metal Clay. While I only wear the
neck piece for special occasions due to it’s weight(there are some
other design elements included), I do wear the bracelets everyday.
The first one I created was over a year ago and is holding up
beautifully. The links are approx. 10x12mm, textured (my own texture
plate/sheet made from Queen Anne’s Lace). The second is only about
three months newer and made from links of all three types of PMC,
also holding up just like new. Links on this one vary in size about
10x8mm up to 18x12mm, oval, textured with the QA Lace and another, I
think it was the tree bark one). All the pieces were assembled in
greenware state and fired for 2 hrs at 1650F. If assembled correctly,
the links are all joined permanently and move independently of each
other, as links should. Hope this was of some help.

Debra N.