Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry

20 Aug

Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry

An interesting jewelry medium called metal clay popped up around the early 1990s. The substance is clay but when the organic material is burnt out, it becomes solid metal, either fine silver or 22kt gold, depending on the type of clay. As a jewelry designer, I was really interested in this material, and I took a few classes, but it was frustrating in the early days of metal clay because you had to use a kiln to fire the clay. Today, because of new technology in manufacturing metal clay, jewelry designers can use simple hand torches or hot pots to finish small pieces that they then turn into earrings, charms, and much more. To the uninitiated jewelry consumer, though, they really don't see the difference.

The Detroit News reports on this new trend and shows of the work of one jewelry designer who found her metal clay niche, Process adds a unique twist to making jewelry:

About seven years ago, longtime jewelry maker Karyl Gatteno saw an ad in a magazine for a precious metal clay certification class that piqued her interest to learn a new technique for creating wearable art.

The Grosse Pointe resident who had spent years making jewelry using traditional techniques – silversmithing and beading – decided this would be a way to add a different twist to her designs.

"It was a totally new material that's very versatile and has a lot of possibilities," explains Gatteno, who took the three-day certification class in Indiana.

Gatteno says the gray, clay-like material was developed about 10 years ago in Japan by the Mitsubishi Co. It's a fine powder of pure silver mixed with a trade secret. After being shaped and given a design, pieces are then fired in a kiln.


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No Responses to “Metal and Clay Equals Jewelry”

  1. organza drawstring pouches November 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Looks unique. Where can i buy this stuff?

  2. stainless steel rubber necklace November 23, 2008 at 11:08 pm #

    Well, thank you very much! You really did a good job! Thank you!

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  4. tungsten jewelry December 5, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    Very charm! I like it.

  5. WendyB August 20, 2007 at 9:25 pm #

    Very interesting! I’ll have to check it out.

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