Alliance of Metal Clay Artists Worldwide (AMCAW) 2019 People's Choice Award Winner

Metal And Beads Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA 02601

(508) 246-1941

Metal and Beads

Handmade one-of-a-kind metal clay jewelry and sculpture by Kim Rumberger

What is Metal Clay?

image1

It's finely ground/powdered metal mixed with methylcellulose (pulverized paper pulp) binder and water.

It becomes a putty-like substance, somewhat similar to pie crust or porcelain clay.  Once it is shaped, carved, sculpted, refined then dried it can be fired with a torch or in a kiln.  The water is evaporated and the paper burns away, leaving just the metal particles.  Those particles, when kept at the correct heat for the correct length of time, join together in a process called sintering, becoming a solid piece of metal.

image2

The powdered metal is leftover from manufacturing processes, so the clay is actually recycled.

Although this is a relatively new medium, there are many different brands and types of metal clays on the market, and each is treated slightly differently.  There are several types of silvers, golds, bronzes, coppers, and steels, coming from places all over the globe.  The photo above shows my high school intern, Ana, sculpting with silver clay to make a chameleon.  Part of the body was formed hollow and previously fired. She is adding more silver clay to the fired piece to create the legs and tail.  On the right are bronze leaves and plant parts for garden markers I made for a local museum's sculpture garden/walk.  Bronze clay has to be buried in carbon to be fired, and you see the pieces waiting on a bed of carbon where they will be covered with more carbon and a lid will be placed on the vessel before going into the kiln.

image3

Metal clay can be used in tandem with other materials such as glass, lab-grown and natural stones, ceramics and more

to create anything from the most basic to highly complicated pieces.  Here you see one of my very happy students showing off two pieces from her very first class!   The Alliance for Metal Clay Artists Worldwide (AMCAW) is the first organization to bring all the metal clay artists and suppliers in the world together to share the excitement about this wonderful medium and promote it in the greater arts community.  Visit AMCAW.org for more information. 

About Kim's Artwork