Art Clay is a leading brand of silver clay, an air-dry modelling clay made from particles of real silver that fuse together when fired with a butane torch. As with any sculpture project, there can be times when something goes wrong with the dried clay piece before firing. In order to keep from wasting the precious metal inside the clay, you can reconstitute the dried material into clay or paste or fire the scraps into silver that retains its metal value.
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Things you need
- Mortar and pestle
- Eye dropper
- Firing brick
- Small butane torch
Allow the leftover clay to dry completely. Once you know a clay piece has failed while drying, let it sit for a few days before trying to recover the material; the clay will be easier to grind into a consistent powder once it's fully dry.
Grind the clay into powder using a mortar and pestle. Break up any large pieces into smaller ones, then pour them into the bowl. Use the grinder to smash the chunks with a dropping and light hammering motion, then grind in a circular movement to reduce the clay to a fine dust. If any pieces are too hard to grind, pull them out and set them aside.
Add water to the powder to create paste or dough. Use an eye dropper to add the water a few drops at a time while stirring with a toothpick. Continue until the mixture is the consistency of a dough if you want to reuse it as clay, or add more water to create paste that you can apply to fill in the cracks of other projects or coat items to make silver plating.
Fire any leftover lumps or dried flakes. Place these pieces on your firing brick and fire them with a butane torch. The small pieces will fuse together to create a squiggly lump of silver. Use this in art or jewellery if you like the abstract shape, or collect these pieces as you work with more silver clay; you can gift or sell them to silversmiths who regularly melt scrap silver.
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