Torch fired silver clay inlay

Firing a piece of fine silver wire in place with a bronze clay bead worked, earlier.  (Except for that unexpected crack.)


I polished the bead, then filled the recessed lines with PMC3 fine silver clay. I placed a pair of copper tongs on top of the wire as a heat sink, then torch fired the PMC3, moving the torch back and forth for  90 seconds to sinter the thin layer of silver clay. The bronze bead was a bright orange-y red, and I had my fingers crossed that the heat would not melt the silver wire. It worked! The silver clay even filled in the crack, making it less obvious, almost part of the design. (Um, that’s the way I meant to do it….?)


The bronze clay did seem to turn a little more reddish with the heat from the torch firing. This is one of a pair of earrings. I plan to try it with copper beads as well. The design is to have the bead move freely, 360º,  around the wire. The wire is fired in place, but not stationary. There is no hole in the bottom of the earring bead.


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3 responses to “Torch fired silver clay inlay

  1. holly

    that’s very cool.
    is the silver recessed a bit, like grout, or even with the surface of the bronze? did you ball up the end of that fine silver wire, and that’s what it’s hanging on? the fine silver was IN the carbon with the bronze? i think you should sign up to be a presenter at purdue…hmmmm..except for the part where we don’t get to go to sessions together because you’re working!!!!


  2. fernald244

    Hi Holly, The silver is recessed a little, but it started out even with the surface of the bead. Shrinkage, no doubt. I wonder what would happen if I filled in with more clay and torch fired again? I’ll probably try it.
    You smarty pants! Yes I balled the end of the silver wire, and that’s what its hanging on. I was pretty happy to find that the fine silver wire fired just fine in the carbon. I think its just firing the silver clay with bronze clay that messes it up. Presenting at Purdue? Nor for me!!! It would be interesting to see a presentation on torch firing silver in bronze and copper clay. I wonder if Hadar would ever agree to be a presenter?


  3. holly

    i’d love to see her in real life!
    did you scratch up the surface of the bronze at all before you inlay-ed the silver? or does the silver actually bond to the bronze?
    i have a day off tomorrow and NO ONE ELSE DOES (thank you YOM KIPPUR!)…i will work in the garden a bit, but plan to make several pairs of earrings…..maybe i’ll make some bronze and silver elements to RIVET together!


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