EZ960 Sterling Metal Clay Bracelet with a Hidden Catch
Make a leaf bracelet and clasp using springy EZ960 sterling metal clay
By Noël Yovovich
Full disclosure: I’m an on-again/off-again metal clay user. I was an early adopter when the original PMC first hit the market and again when base-metal clays appeared. I do love some of the things metal clays are good at and make use of them, but their limitations have always frustrated me. I’d say the main shortcomings were the lower strength of fine silver clays, and above all, the need to work really fast to avoid all the problems caused by rapid drying.
Finally, metal clay has arrived where I’d hoped it would be in the first place (but I don’t think it will ever be a good candidate to throw on my potter’s wheel!).
For this metal clay bracelet cuff, I tried out Cool Tools’ EZ960 sterling metal clay. I was particularly interested in the notion that sterling metal clay might actually be springy! So I bought two 25g packages (and got a promotional 10g package thrown in). I looked at some tutorials online and then jumped right in.
This is the easiest to use of any metal clay I’ve tried, and I’ve tried pretty much all the silver clays, though I haven’t kept up with the plethora of base metal clays. Here’s what I like about it:
- rolls out beautifully
- has a much better working time than my old favorite, PMC+
- rehydrates in a snap, back just as good as it started (yay!)
- sticks to itself quite readily with minimal encouragement (though I still think it’s a good idea to score-and-slip whenever possible)
- seems relatively strong in the unfired state, though still brittle; strength after firing seems better than fine silver clay but still fairly bendy
- polishes like a dream, taking a high shine very easily
Basic metal clay work, Basic metalsmithing (for optional clasp)
Materials (bracelet only):
EZ960 sterling metal clay, 30-35g
faceted stones (shown with 2mm, 3mm and 3.5mm rhodolite and hessonite garnets)
Tools (bracelet only):
Basic metal clay tools: thickness slats, roller, tubing to punch out settings, CoolSlip non-stick spray, poly blade, kiln with computerized controller
NOËL YOVOVICH is a professional metalsmith and maker, writing articles about jewelry making and teaching jewelry classes around the country. Learn more and watch for workshops and classes at Noël Yovovich Art Jewelry on Facebook and on her website, NoelYovovich.Bigcartel.com.
This project is featured in the May/June 2018 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. See inside this issue in the Lookbook!
See this project and many more, plus gemstone and metalsmithing news and products in the May/June 2018 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.