Copper Art Clay Disaster!

Ok, my first try at copper clay turned out to be a total disaster. I am still trying to figure out why the couple pieces I fired split and broke when I quenched them! I am saving one more piece for when I find the answer… When the first one broke I thought maybe I didn’t fire it long enough, so I fired the second one longer, but got the same result. Oh well, you live and learn… A picture of the disaster below:

Broken Copper Clay Pendant

The Art Clay Copper is very dry and somewhat hard to handle, although it feels like real clay because of the color. It seems to dry so quickly, much quicker than the silver clay and be more brittle. My third piece (the one I am saving) actually broke before being fired and I had to make up some copper clay paste and fix it. I hope it will stay in one piece. I don’t think I’ve ever had a silver piece break like that, unless I dropped it. This one broke while I was sanding it. Anyway, we’ll see how it all pans out with this new adventure with copper clay. I will keep you posted as to what I can find out…

5 thoughts on “Copper Art Clay Disaster!

  1. Stacey Welch says:

    If your Art Clay Copper is feeling dry and brittle, perhaps it is out of date. What my fellow enthusiats and I have found is that the Copper Clay has about a 6 month shelf life, unlike Art ClaySilver.
    Who was your clay provider? I would raise the issue with them.
    When the clay is fresh, I find that it has a much creamier feel that ACSilver, and it stays moist longer. I also have good luck adding a little water and a little Badger Balm. Interestingly enough, when the conditioned clay sits for some time the Badger Balm leaches out and can be absorbed with a paper towel.
    As far as breakage goes….I have encountered the same issue. I have better luckby making my pieces at least twice as thick as I would silver.
    The issue I haven’t been able to resolve is attaching pieces in a re-fire. I can not get 2 pieces of cooper to attach to each other because both have already been fired. Any thought?

    • Yol Swan says:

      Stacey, thanks for your comment. I will keep in mind what you are saying about the shelf life and the moisture. I did some more experimenting with it with good results, but haven’t posted about it here yet. I still find that the clay feels different than the PMC I am used to. Anyway, I have not tried to attach two pieces that have already been fired, so I cannot help you there. I only have put pieces together before firing using paste (that I make in the same manner as with silver clay). Have you tried checking the metal clay yahoo group? It’s a nice group of talented and very helpful metal clay artists.

  2. Jonesi says:

    I would be really interested to know how to make up a copper clay paste? I’ve been looking for it to buy but cannot find it anywhere.

    • Yol Swan says:


      There are several places in the US to buy copper clay, but I see that you are located in the UK, right? In that case, you can find both Art Clay Copper and CopperClay at Hadar Jacobson also sells powdered clay that you can reconfigure with water, and I am pretty sure she ships to the UK. Her site is:

      Hope this helps and good luck with it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.