A is for Art Clay (AtoZ 2016)

Art Clay is the brand of metal clay that I use to make beads.

The first thing that I did when I decided to make a bead with metal clay was to research what brands of metal clay existed. At the time, the two major options were Art Clay and PMC3. I was originally drawn to the PMC brand because it had a slightly higher shrinkage rate (12% vs 8-9% for Art Clay) and I figured that it would be easier to do designs in a larger piece and then shrink it down. All I had to do was figure out how much larger I needed to make it! In the end, price was the tipping point: the smallest Art Clay package was 10g, the smallest PMC3 package was 25g. Since I didn’t know if I would want to continue making beads after the first one, I opted for the smaller and less-expensive package and ended up with Art Clay. And I haven’t looked back. Art Clay is easy to use, and the lower shrinkage rate hasn’t been an issue. I don’t think that the small difference in shrinkage rate would really affect the pieces that I make anyway. I hardly notice any shrinkage at all, to be honest.

Because I’ve been happy with how the Art Clay has worked out, I still haven’t tried PMC3 to see if it is any different. Some have said that Art Clay is the better brand, but, of course, everyone has their own preferences and I suspect that someone who started with PMC3 would be just as happy with it.

I recently found another brand, Prometheus, that is even cheaper – and that I’ve heard good things about – but I haven’t tried yet. I’m a little torn about trying something new when what I’ve been using works perfectly well. But, after my issues finding the clay in December, I might just give Prometheus a go.

One neat thing that I’ve seen with Art Clay (and I can’t say that PMC doesn’t do this since I haven’t really looked) is that every once in a while you can find bonus packs where you get anywhere from an extra 2g to an extra 10g for free.

Would price sway you to try a new product even if you are already happy with what you’ve got? Or are you of the opinion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!


    1. I do enjoy a good bargain! :D

      You definitely get cost savings per gram as you increase the package size, but I can’t always afford to buy the larger size so I usually end up with the 25g package. I’m also a bit worried about buying too much at once and having it dry out before I’m able to use it.

      But, I suspect that I will try another brand at some point (I’m a bit curious ;))

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Interesting observations about the clay! I’ve never used any of them so no practical use to you.

    Your question about trying a new product could apply to my C entry… I have tried a variety but only one brand of a particular material, I get on with it well, but I do wonder what other types might be like, but at the moment I can’t really afford to experiment because it’s not cheap. What would be ideal is if I could have a sample to try… which is how I ended up with my current brand… samples are smart moves I think!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I am *such* a creature of habit! My husband laughs at me that I find something that I like and stick to it. It really applies to everything in my life, even ice cream flavours! But with the clay, now I know what the shrinkage rate is and how big I need to make the hole to make sure that it fits on a Trollbeads bracelet, so – other than cost – why try something else?!?

      Samples would be fantastic! I have thought about taking a class, which maybe would allow to try different kinds, but I haven’t found a local metal clay class. There’s a place in Toronto, but it’s about an hour from here, so I’d have to play that a bit carefully.

      But we might have a bit in common for C ;)

  2. I am definitely in the if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it camp.

    Looking first forward to reading more about how you make your silver beads. Between you and Mars my knowledge of all things beady is going to expand :-) Yay!

    1. I think that’s probably the camp that I fall into, too :D As I said to Mars, I’m quite the creature of habit.

      Nothing wrong with expanding your knowledge of all things beady, right? :D

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