The new formula Art Clay Silver clay will shortly be available from the George Weil website. We asked expert Joy Funnell (see Joy's website where you can find out about her courses) to test and comment. Here is her very positive feedback!
Joy's Oriental Pagoda made from the new formula
Art Clay Silver clay before and after enamelling
"The clay feels a little sticky when first out of the packet but as soon as it is kneaded the stickiness goes, it has a lovely soft smooth texture and a much longer working time than Original or 650. It does not exhibit any minor surface cracking which Slow Dry tended to get while working, and seems to work for longer than slow dry before any moisture needs adding.
I think it takes marginally longer to dry, but not so much that it is a problem.
It is softer to work with which I feel is an advantage, although experienced Art Clay users will need to adjust to it. It feels more like the Original formula.
The clay reabsorbs water very easily which makes joining dry pieces together with just water very simple. I even attached my small name tag onto a deeper texture, where I would normally use some syringe, without any problems.
Cleaning up the edges using baby wipes, the method I always use, is a breeze. The wipes work even better on this than any of the three existing formulas of clay.
It sands, carves and drills very easily, and less pressure is needed as the clay when dry has more give to it. This is also exhibited in the fact that there is some flex in the dry clay which is a very useful new property to the clay.
It takes impressions from a stamp crisply and cleanly, better than before. It also takes textures very well from texture plates, but more care is needed in peeling the clay away from texture sheets due to the softness of the clay.
To attach a stone into a drilled setting in the dry clay I usually use a little paste, but as this clay softens so easily I added a little water into the setting, allowed it to soak in for a couple of minutes, and then set the stone in place. This worked really well.
The binders have a different smell on firing, which seemed to be to be slightly more unpleasant, but it may well be I am just very used to the other smell!
The silver polishes very well in my magnetic tumbler and seems to easily come to a much higher shine. Less effort was needed on manual polishing. The finished silver has a very nice smooth feel to it (difficult to explain but it just feels nicer!).The fired silver enamelled well with no problems.
Joy's ring made from the new formula clay
My overall conclusions. I love this clay. I would certainly buy it in preference to any of the existing formulas. It will be much easier teaching with it."
Thank you to Joy for doing this test and for providing us with such useful feedback. You can learn more about Joy's stunning metal clay and enamelling work from her website or her Facebook page. The New Art Clay Silver Clay is available from the George Weil website.