Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hadar’s Steel Clay

This weekend I had a private class with a talented student, Sarah who wanted to try Hadar Jacobson’s new Pearl Grey Steel Clay.
Hadar’s Steel Jewellery
Hadar Jacobson is an artist/teacher extraordinaire who specialises in the design & production of jewellery from metal clay. Hadar is based in Berkeley, California and is the self published author of four outstanding metal clay books (two of which contain photographs of my work). Hadar has developed her own brand of metal clay powders. Metal Clay Australasia Pty Ltd offers a range of Hadar’s powered clays. The powder is already mixed with a binder and only distilled water needs to be added.
Sarah and I followed the instruction manual very precisely.
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After shaking the clay package pour the amount you need into a bowl, add distilled water,mix, then roll under plastic.
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Sarah wanted to make a ring and a pendant. She rolled out the clay and formed the ring on a mandrel. The clay is then dried, so the water evaporates and the ring is sanded.
The steel clay has two stages of firing, the first firing burns away the binder. The second firing sinters the steel particles together to form the metal. The clay has to be fired in an oxygen free environment, so the items are buried in activated carbon.
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Sarah is pouring the carbon granules into a stainless steel pan.
After the first stage, more carbon is added and the clay is fired at a higher temperature for two hours.
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Sarah ‘s ring unfortunately broke. The decorative scored lines where probably too deep. The pendant was intact.
Tomorrow I will teach Sarah how to use Hadar’s Copper Clay.

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