I received some packages of the new CopprClay from Rio Grande a few weeks ago. Since then, I've been experimenting like crazy with this exciting new medium. While I've previously had some experience with both Silver Art Clay and with Precious Metal Clay in Silver, I have to say that I'm more interested in the copper, both for it's color and for the added measure of "workability" that I think it has. And its price!!
Above and below are some press molds that I made with polymer clay (they were cooked hard before using). Slick up the mold and your hands with olive oil and press the clay in. If the clay won't come out the mold easily, just let it sit for awhile until it hardens slightly, and then it will pop right out. Clean up the edges before it gets too hard. Even after it's completely dry, I found it was still pretty easy to shape and file. I used an Exacto knife and a small jeweler's file. Here's a shot of the tools I assembled, including a brass brush and some buffing compound that won't be used until later.
For projects that need to have the clay rolled out, I used a piece of parchment paper underneath and just a little bit of oil. I tried parchment paper on top too, but found it wasn't really necessary as long as I worked quickly.
Place any scraps into a small bottle with some distilled water to make paste or slip. I used a bit of slip to smooth the shaft of the key, but decided to leave a few of the pits so it would look a bit rustic.
I haven't yet fired these pieces. It seems that firing CopprClay is a little trickier than Silver, so I'm going to be experimenting with that over the course of a few days. But I didn't want to delay in showing you a couple of the pieces that will be fired soon!
Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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