Monday, August 15, 2011

Hadar's Pearl Grey Steel XT Clay - Part I

I read Hadar Jacobson's blog post of a week or so ago, about her new formula for Pearl Grey Steel XT clay - one of her base metal clays - and got excited! Hadar said her new clay "brought me back 14 years, to when I first learned about [original] silver clay, and it felt like the sky was the limit."  I didn't delay and ordered some straight away!

The clay comes in powder form, like all Hadar's clay, so you make up just as much as you need, by adding water.  When it's made up - it's delightful.  It is similar in feel to the original PMC silver formulation - and I found it easy to make up and easy to use.

I've tried all Hadar's clays, and many other brands too, but have never got excited with the base metal clays like bronze and copper.  They seemed unreliable and not consistent.....or else I don't like the feel of them when I work with them.

But I have high hopes for the Pearl Grey Steel XT!

I have started out by making three trial pieces to see how several different factors/techniques go, including getting the firing schedule correct for my kiln.  I'll show you these pieces this week and let you know how it goes.

My first trial was to make a very simple ring. The idea was to see how the clay joins. I rolled a snake of the clay and squidged it to make it uneven in shape. Then I joined the two ends together to form a shape roughly round.

Unfired steel clay ring

It formed and joined like a dream.  It felt strong in it's dry state and sanded nicely. I'm not a texture person so didn't add any texture.

I fired it to Hadar's schedule for a muffle kiln and it fired perfectly!  I am loving my new ring. I'll post photos of the fired ring tomorrow! It's so simple but I love the color of the pearl grey steel.

More tomorrow......

1 comment:

Sue McNenly said...

I'm excited to see your steel creations as they progress. I've not been interested either in the other clays, so for you to be so excited, my interest is piqued:).

Can't wait.