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!