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My 2 cents on Art Clay Silver 650 Slow Dry Metal Clay

I was surfing the internet for Precious Metal Clay info and blogs, when I got to read the product information on Art Clay Silver 650 Slow Dry. Up to now I had only worked with the PMC brand before so I got all excited about a slower drying clay. That would be such a great help and prevent some of my drying anxiety.
So I order myself some packages of 20 g and almost chose rush delivery because I just couldn’t wait to try this stuff.
I was thinking about making some rings to offset the many many pendants that come out of my kiln.
The package comes, my project is chosen and set up and I am all ready to be floored by this new metal clay.
I opened the package of Art Clay and it was already kind of dry and almost clumpy. I had to knead it in my hands to get it smooth and by the time I started shaping it, it was already beginning to dry. So the first portion I took out of the package had to be turned into slip because it literally dried too fast.
Now, children, this is a perfect example of ‘ironic‘.
I understand that everything is relative and depends on what you compare it to. And maybe the regular Art Clay dries even faster and therefore this stuff actually is ‘slow drying’ but compared to PMC3, there is nothing slow about it.
I ended up letting the rest of the package sit with some distilled water over night and that did help the consistency and eliminated the kneading time so I could actually get a ring formed. But even now the drying time wasn’t particularly long.

Here are some photos of the ring. It still needs some detailing and then firing. If this one comes out nice I will post some photos of it later.

In conclusion, this whole experience with Art Clay Silver 650 Slow Dry was more than disappointing. I feel like I have wasted roughly $100 on a product that is simply mislabeled. Maybe I was unlucky and received a faulty package but I guess I will see when I open the rest of them.
As of right now, there is no way I will ever buy Art Clay Silver Metal Clay again (maybe with the exception of their overlay paste).


February 7, 2010 - Posted by | Fused Glass, GlassFancy Jewelry, Precious Metal Clay | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m sorry you had this experience with the silver clay! I’ve heard similar stories from other artists. Still, that ring looks like it’s going to turn out REALLY nice… I love the shape of the band and that color green will definitely look great with the silver. Good luck!

    Comment by Jackie | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh well =) It’s all a learning experience. This one was a pretty pricey one but on the other hand, I learn the most from the times when things go wrong.
    The ring is in the kiln right now and, as always, I can’t wait until I can peek =)

    Comment by Kim | February 12, 2010 | Reply

  3. Having just discovered metal clay myself and starting to have a go, with PMC thankfully, I am glad I found your post. I have been tossing up trying the slow drying clay, although I have found that the PMC keeps moist long enough for my projects as I am careful to plan then before getting the clay out of its packet because of the same fear of drying before I can finish. Thanks for the info, most appreciated. PS I love your pendants.

    Comment by lafemmejewels | February 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Not a problem at all and thank you very much!
      I am glad it was useful to you. =)

      Comment by Kim | February 21, 2010 | Reply

  4. If you want longer working time – try PMC standard. Yes, you shouldn’t use it on everything – ie ring shanks – but depending on the application – like for my sculptural work – it is great. Gives you time before cracking/drying starts. I had the same feeling as you about the slow dry AC.

    If you try it – let me know how you get on. But then we all have our own favs!

    Comment by Ruth | March 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Yes! Definitely PMC. I like PMC3 best because I fire so much glass with it.
      Have you ever tried using 650 Art Clay slip or paste with one of the low firing PMC products? I was thinking, since the Art Clay has less shrinkage than the PMC, it might be good for filling gaps and cracks but I am not sure if that actually makes sense in real life. =)

      Comment by Kim | March 4, 2010 | Reply

      • I don’t use slip of paste – I fill just using regular clay – like caulking and using a needle tool or clay shaper. I think you’d want to use the same shrinkage products together otherwise there may be warping.

        Comment by Ruth Baillie | March 7, 2010

      • Ah, well, that makes a whole lot of sense! TY =)

        Comment by Kim | March 7, 2010

  5. I use Art Clay all the time. The secret to keeping it moist throughout your project is lightly misting it with water. I keep a spray bottle handy. ( just like you would do when working with sculpting clay) Never have the problem of it drying out. If working with a two part project, I mist it and place it under a plastic cup. This keeps it from drying out. I also hold the clay I am currently not working with in the plastic dome. (I use the plastic restaurant condiment containers. I hope you give it another chance.

    Comment by CK | June 30, 2010 | Reply

    • Ooops! I am sorry, CK. I overlooked your comment =(
      I am thankful for your input and it’s always good to hear other people’s techniques. Thank you for sharing them!

      I guess there are fans of all the metal clay products out there. It’s a personal preference, like loving a perfume or a dish of food.
      Aside from all other difficulties I had with Art Clay (which I can see to be workable once you get used to it), the one single fact that turned me off to the greatest extent was the condition the clay was in at the moment I opened the brand new package. That is the moment when I expect the clay to have the perfect consistency. I find it unexceptable to buy a product and not have it in the perfect condition when it’s band new.
      Now, if there was no other metal clay product on the market, I am sure I would make it work as well, but since there are products that give me the perfect consistency without having to jump through hoops, I don’t see why I would try Art Clay again.
      But, as I said above, it’s simply just a personal preference. For some reason, one product works for some and not for others. =)

      Comment by Kim | July 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. Excellent post!! Very interesting… Looking for more posts like this!! Do you have twitter or an RSS feed?
    Anyway thank you for this info.

    Comment by odoguecoido | September 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Odoguecoido!
      I do have a Twitter account but I have to admit, I rarely use it.
      Look to your far right for the Twitter and RSS link buttons. =)

      Comment by Kim | September 9, 2010 | Reply

  7. I had the exact same problem. I find the normal art clay is fine but the slow dry terrible! I haven’t tried pmc3 yet but had been considering it as I find art clay dries out too quickly, I use it to make fingerprint jewellery and if I don’t get a good print first time around the next attempt I end up with little hard lumps in it. I also haven’t found a way to keep it from drying out when I have bits left over, tried wrapping in cling film, adding wet wipes to the package but then it goes mouldy….any tips?

    Comment by Supremegermalene | November 20, 2010 | Reply

    • I think none of the metal clays are really meant to be kept for an extended period of time. I find that no matter what, they all dry out and/or become moldy if you keep them unfired for too long.
      But I do keep clay around without a problem for a couple of days to maybe a week or so. What works best for me is the ClayVault (http://www.metalclaysupply.com/Clay-Vault-p/52101.htm) and the ClaySafe (http://www.metalclaysupply.com/Clay-Safe-p/52099.htm)from metalclaysupply.com. The larger one comes with these “water crystals” that you soak in water and then keep them in a mini bag inside the vault for an indirect moisture source. In addition, when I am done working with it, I place the vault and/or the safe into a small ziplock bag with a piece of a moist sponge.
      But once again, I haven’t found a way to keep clay for longer periods, unfortunately.
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Supremegermalene (and I love your name)! =)

      Comment by Kim | November 20, 2010 | Reply

  8. i bought the artclay silver paste 650 and when i openned my bottle to my dimay it was empty! im pissed !!!!

    Comment by melissa | November 30, 2010 | Reply

    • Oh my! Sounds like a production error. I hope the store you bought it from won’t give you a hassle and just sends you a new one.
      But no matter what, I can imagine that being very annoying =(

      Comment by Kim | November 30, 2010 | Reply

  9. […] My 2 cents on Art Clay Silver 650 Slow Dry Metal Clay February 2010 16 comments 5 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « Welcome to Glassfancy | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  10. I’m just getting started with silver clay, but I found some bottles that have a sponge in the bottom you wet, with a perforated rack above it to put the clay on to keep it from drying out. I haven’t actually tried these, but they looked useful. You can find them here:

    — Larry

    Comment by Larry Maturo | March 25, 2011 | Reply

    • I agree. These do look useful! Thank you for sharing the link! =)

      Comment by Kim | March 25, 2011 | Reply

  11. Hi, I just wanted to mention that I loved the rings that I’ve seen on here. I wondered how you made the ring shanks in metal clay. Metal clay obviously shrinks. Do you lay the clay around the mandrel to dry 1 or 2 sizes bigger? I’d love some advice.

    Comment by Gemma | October 12, 2014 | Reply

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