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About Bronze Clay

Bronze clay is a non-toxic metal clay product used by jewelry artists and craftspeople to create one-of-a kind and small run jewelry, models, prototypes, sculpture and decorative items.
Just about anything you can image can be sculpted, formed or molded using the moist clay. Bronze is a very strong metal and makes a wonderful medium for jewelry.

Bronze is an alloy, which is a word used to describe metals that have been mixed together to form a new metal. Just like there are lots of different kinds of fruits with different shapes and tastes and nutritional values or "properties", each metal and metal alloy has a unique set of physical properties. There are special alloys (think of it as a recipe) for specific uses. If we mix some amount of tin into copper, we call it bronze. The amount of tin added affects the properties of the alloy. There are special bronze alloys that are used for many surprising things, such as a special alloy just for making bells. Too much tin in the recipe and there's no ring to it!

We offer 2 types of bronze clay, BRONZclay and FastFire BRONZclay. BRONZclay (also called Original BRONZclay), must be fired according to the thickness of the piece and can take up to 9 hours for sintering. FastFire BRONZclay is a formulation that fires in only 2 hours for most pieces. Objects are fired in a table top kiln to transform them into solid bronze metal. Gemstones and other items can be embedded in the wet clay and fired together. The final product is actual metal because the clay is made of real metal powders.

The same tools and textures used with silver clays are also perfect for working with bronze clays. If you are working in other metal clays, such as silver, you'll need a separate set of "dusty" tools for bronze to avoid cross-contamination. Unfired dust and bits of bronze clay must be kept away from other metal clays to avoid discoloration that cannot be removed. Rolling tools, worksurfaces, textures and other tools used while the clay is wet can be cleaned off and used for any clays you work with. But you need to dedicate a set of files and sanding tools just for bronze. Brushing the dust off the tools is not good enough. The tools must not mingle. The rule is easy: if the tool creates dust or if dust builds up on it, keep a separate set for bronze.

Because bronze contains copper, the clay must be protected in a bed of carbon firing media inside a stainless steel pan. The activated carbon keep oxygen from turning the copper black. The media used is important, since some types of carbon do not allow sintering of the metal particles. The firing schedule used for both BRONZclay and FastFire BRONZclay depends on the kiln being used. Both types require a digitally controlled kiln to properly sinter the clay into a solid, dense metal form.