Friday, August 31, 2012

Making Sterling Silver Metal Clay Flexible

by Janet Alexander
Technical Advisor

Flexible clay can be used for several things: making a hinge, making woven items, layering, making bezels, and more. It can even be used as a decal. For this month's PMC Sterling silver test, I wanted to find out if I can make flexible sterling silver metal clay. 
The result - yes! But, it must be kept moist until you use it. If it is dry, it will crack.

  • Smooth, thick, and clear report cover (Can be found at office supply store) 
  • Olive oil or other anti-stick solution
  • Glycerin
  • Roller
  • Sterling metal clay (new package)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Card stock paper (equals one card thickness)
  • Zip-lock plastic bag 

1.   Coat the insides of the report cover with a very thin coat of olive oil or your preferred anti-stick solution.
2.   Roll PMC Sterling silver metal clay as thin as possible inside the report cover. 
 3.   Open the report cover and drip 3-4 drops of glycerin onto the clay.
5.   Roll the clay into a tube shape. 
6.   Compress the tube shape into a ball removing all air. 
7.   Repeat the process until the clay is very wet with the glycerin. 
Roll wet clay again.
The clay becomes so wet it can't be picked up.

8.   When the clay starts to stick to the report cover, use the clay itself to pick the remainder up.
9.   Allow the clay to sit for a few minutes allowing the glycerin to soak in by wrapping it with plastic wrap.
10. Once the glycerin has soaked into the clay, repeat the process again.

11. If the clay starts to feel like rubber and tends to not want to stick to itself, STOP! You have almost gone too far.

12. Roll the clay inside the report cover one card thick (by placing it between two pieces of card stock) or roll it out to a your desired thickness. 
13. Dry clay until it is leather hard but not completely dry.
14. Open the report cover and allow it to dry for 20 minutes or so. Flip it over allowing the other side to dry. You may need to keep pressing it down flat if it warps while drying. 
16. Place into a zip-lock plastic bag for storage.
Keep it slightly moist (leather hard) if you plan to weave it, bend it, or cut it with the Silhouette Cameo machine.


Mrs. F said...

can you please tell me what the web address is for PMC Connection? the one i used that was listed in metal clay magazine is no longer valid

Janet Alexander said...

Hi the is the correct web address.

Tracey said...

Thanks for sharing this technique Janet! Can the flexible clay also be done with PMC3?


Janet Alexander said...

Hi Tracy, yes it is done using the same process.

Sarah Suzanne said...

Good instructions! So what you are doing with repeated additions of glycerin is soaking the clay with it? Can this work also with copper clay?
Thanks! Sarah Bernier