Art Clay Copper is a clay material that you can use to make a wide range of pieces such as jewellery, craft designs, and objects like sculptures and models. Art Clay Copper can be fired in an electric kiln without using carbon, with the resulting fired piece being more than 99.5% pure copper. The percentage of copper in the Art Clay Copper in clay state is 90%.
Art Clay Copper works a little differently to Silver PMC and Art Clay Silver in that extra care needs to be taken in heating the material. On this page we go into detail about how to work with Art Clay Copper so that you can get the best results.
Fire in a well ventilated area. Oxygen is consumed during firing and smoke which may result in gas emissions.
Take precautions against burns from the heated clay when drying, firing and after firing.
Be aware that some people are allergic to copper. The level of reaction is different according to the individual, from light to severe.
Due to the differences between Copper clay and Silver clay, the clays may contaminate each other if mixed accidentally during preparation. This can occur by using shared tools. It is therefore recommended to use separate tools for each type of clay. If this is not possible, please clean the tools carefully after each use to limit the chance of contamination.
Wash your hands well after using the product.
After firing in the kiln, the surface layer of the piece will oxidize, similar to soldered sterling silver. You will need to remove this oxidized surface with pickling solution such as Safety Pickle to obtain a pure copper colour surface.
Follow the written instructions carefully, and do not use this product for any other purposes other than those stated in the instructions below.
Keep the clay indoors at a moderate room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Try to use the product as soon as possible after opening the original product package.
Art Clay Copper is a water-based clay, and dries naturally in the air. After opening your package of clay, the surface of Art Clay Copper will naturally start oxidizing and the colour will darken if left in the air. To avoid drying when starting your piece, only take out the needed amount and if you see a darkened surface appear, scrape off the darkened layer and use the internal clay to make your piece.
To avoid oxidation of unused clay after unsealing the original product package, you can wrap in several layers of plastic wrap tightly, then place in a zip up type plastic bag, or an air tight container.
The shrinkage of Art Clay Copper during firing is under 10% in length, so be sure to consider this when designing and making your piece.
How to make paste:
Apply a small amount of water to some soft clay or ground powder of dry clay, and blend well while crushing in any hard pieces. You can use this paste for filling up any cracks in your main design once dry as well as for joining clay parts.
Dry completely after moulding. The dried clay will become hard like plaster,so you can enjoy the process of drilling, filing and sanding with hand tools and equipment. The following drying instructions and drying check method should be completed before firing:
Clay Dryness Test
Place your dried design on a piece of stainless or glass plate while still warm. Leave for a couple of seconds, then remove your piece from the plate. If you do not see any vapour cloud on the plate where the piece was, drying is completed.
Drying guideline for drying a piece up to 1mm thick, 5g (if the piece is larger than this size, drying will need more time):
Hot Air Dryer – More than 10 mins*
Electric Hot Plate – More than 10 mins at 150°C/302°F
Electric Kiln – More than 10 mins at 150°C/302°F
Natural Air Dry Method – More than 24 hours
*Place the piece as close and as safely possible to the hot air while taking care not to drop it.
***DO NOT dry the art clay copper over 250°C/482°F, or the binder will be destroyed during drying and deform the shape in the firing process.***
Place the fired art clay copper into a solution made with pickling compound to take away any oxidized layers on the surface. For any oxidized layers around detailed design areas, please use a polishing point with an electric rotary tool such as the Dremel.
For use and proper, environmentally friendly disposal of the pickling solution follow the instructions included with the product.
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