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Sterling silver metal clay

Metal Clay Artist Magazine:
Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery Director Creates Hallmark-Quality
Sterling Silver Metal Clay

Lisa Cain announced that she and her staff have developed a process
for making hallmark-quality sterling silver clay. All the details
will be available in Volume 2 Issue 2 of Metal Clay Artist Magazine.

(Press Release) - Mar 19, 2011 - Lisa Cain, Director of the Mid
Cornwall School of Jewellery (MCSJ) in England, announced today that
she and her staff have developed methods, recipes and firing
schedules for com?bining existing commercial silver and copper clay
formulas into hallmark-quality sterling silver clay. A fired sample
of the clay was first hallmarked by the London Assay Office on
January 25, 2011. The step-by-step method, recipes and firing
schedule will be published in the Spring 2011 issue (Vol. 2, Issue
#2) of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, which will launch in early April.

Staff at MCSJ developed two successful recipes, one using Art
Clay%u2122 brand metal clays and another using PMC? clays.
Well-known UK artists Julia Rai (also a staff instructor at MCSJ),
Lesley Messam and Chris Pate tested and refined the process to
ensure that it could be reproduced easily and reliably in a home
studio. Detailed reports from all three testers will be included in
the nine-page article in the upcoming issue of Metal Clay Artist
Magazine devoted to this breakthrough metal clay discovery.

Ms. Cain explains, “My motivation for developing this new option was
the very real need for this type of clay, especially here in the UK
where hallmarking laws influence the materials we artists can use
credibly in our commercial work. Sterling silver clay of hallmark
quality is a crucial next step in the evolution of metal clay.”

Once Ms. Cain had proven that sterling silver clay was achievable
and practical, she shared her discovery with a small number of
colleagues and close friends, some of whom encouraged her to
manufacture the sterling silver clay or try to benefit financially
from the recipes in some way. “I have no interest in doing either.
My focus is set firmly on innovation, artistry in metal clay,
teaching and running the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery. I share
it willingly with the metal clay community.”

Ms. Cain chose to reveal her method, recipes, firing schedules and
detailed test results in Metal Clay Artist Magazine because “they
were willing and excited to allocate the effort and space needed to
really do justice to the story and give the metal clay community all
the detailed I wanted to share.” Metal Clay Artist
Magazine is available for purchase at more than 12,000 locations
worldwide. To purchase a copy of the Vol. 2, Issue #2, which contains
the article on Lisa Cain’s sterling silver metal clay, visit
This issue will be available in April.

Wow, this is a breakthrough and I can’t wait to see the article. One
of the reasons I’ve stayed away from metal clay is that I don’ like
the fragility of fine silver. It’s too easy to mar, dent, etc. and I
prefer working in sterling. Now that we can make a sterling clay, I
may be more likely to start playing with it for additions to
fabricated pieces I’ve had in mind for a couple of years. Yay!