top of page
  • Writer's pictureHolly Gage

Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing Fine Silver Metal Clay

Torch firing is a great way to get started with working with Fine Silver Metal Clay. It opens the door to making small pieces, earrings, charms, sculptural elements to be added to traditional metalsmithing, and so much more. For successful torch firing of Fine Silver Metal Clay, you need a well-sintered piece for strength and durability. In a live FREE session, called, you guessed it, "Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing," I offered Newbies a 2-hour down and dirty demonstration for making their first piece and firing with a torch. We covered way more than I could ever have imagined in the Question and Answer portion and I was able to connect with new friends, and get them off of the sidelines and join the fun.

Following, you will have access to a Torch Firing Video, Cliff Notes for your studio, resources for continued learning of Metal Clay techniques, and an offer to attend, "Breaking the Ice: Kiln Firing." I'd love to see what you make, so feel free to join me on the Metal Clay and Mixed Media forum on Facebook

Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing Video

In this video you will see the whole process for learning the essential skills of torch firing:

  • Understand the importance of Metal Clay shrinkage and how to calculate it.

  • Knowing what to look for in a fully sintered Fine Silver Metal Clay piece.

  • How to use a torch.

  • Knowing the hot and cool spots of your torch flame.

  • How to know when you're Fine Silver Metal Clay piece is done.

  • How to avoid accidentally melting your Fine Silver Metal Clay piece.


Wanna take it to the next level? Peruvian Style Applique and Bezel Setting like a Pro are classes that can be done without a kiln


Breaking the Ice: Torch Firing Cliff Notes

Breaking the Ice Torch Firing with Holly Gage

Safety First

  • Hair back

  • Your set up should be 12" away from anything.

  • Good ventilation

  • Safety Glasses

Pieces that Qualify for Torch Firing

  • The piece must be completely dry

  • Size - No more than 25 g (about a 1 1/4 diameter or 6 cards thick)

  • CZ’s must be under 5 mm (no quenching)

Torch Set Up

  • Heat Proof Surface - large tile or metal surface

  • Kiln brick, solder brick, or charcoal

  • Torch (Any jewelry torch)

  • Bowl of water and tweezers

Torch Process

  • Measure your Greenware before you start, so you can compare it with the size of the fired piece

  • Dim lights to be able to see the peachy glow you are trying to achieve

  • Hold torch approx. 2 inches from piece circling outside perimeter of the piece

  • When you see it get dark, smoke, then a small flame, the binder is burning off

  • Then you can torch directly on the piece

  • The hottest part of the torch is just in front of the dark blue cone, this is where you want the piece to be

  • Look for a peachy glow, then

  • Start timing 5 - 7 mins

  • Peachy glow must be maintained during the whole time

  • The piece then gets white in appearance

  • May start to curl due to shrinkage

  • (It can be flattened later with a rubber mallet between leather on a hard surface once cool)

  • If you see what looks like Mercury during the process, back away to the cooler part of the flame which is the far tip of the flame, as this indicates it is starting to melt.

  • You know it is sintering when it shrinks from its original size according to manufacturers packaging

  • Using tweezers Quench in water

  • Air cool pieces with stones to avoid thermal shock resulting in cracking

  • Measure your piece for a second time and compare the measurement with your Greenware measurement. The percentage of shrinkage should be within the manufacturer's suggested shrinkage rate. The higher the shrinkage rate the better.

You can now move to brass brushing your piece with soap and water and polishing.


I really LOVE Metal Clay and I want to know more!

It doesn't take long before you are hooked on creating with Metal Clay, so here are some references that I've put together to help that journey go more smoothly. I'm adding new material all the time, so if you want to be in the know and Get Class and Blog Notifications at the bottom of any page of my website, click on some of the links below to start exploring.


If you want to make bigger, more complicated pieces you are going to want to get a kiln.

Here is the second FREE class offering because I am determined to Break the Fear and Break the Ice for those intimidated by their kiln. For more details and to register go to my class page

Breaking the Ice: Kiln Firing - FREE

February 22 at 4:00 - 6:00pm EST (9:00 pm GMT, 3:00 pm CST, 2:00 pm MST, 1:00 pm PST)

  • Format: Go to Meeting by invitation

  • Demo and Q & A

  • Make your first earring or charm

  • Learn the ins and outs of Kiln Firing

  • To register: Go to my class page

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •   Live Online Class for ALL Abilities

I’m adding Jewelry classes regularly with small, live, interactive, online group sessions. Simply great connectivity with other artists during this pandemic, and tons of learning. Click here for details or the Class Title

Friday, Feb. 12 - Mar 19 • 6 - 7:00 EST

(11:00 pm GMT, 5:00 pm CST, 4:00 pm MST, 3:00 pm PST)

(6) week group sessions • 60 min. Live & Interactive on Go to Meeting All levels of ability (Kiln Fired)


Nefertem Perfume Bottle: 1 Spot Left God of Perfume Master ClassTuesday, February 16 - March 16, 2021 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST (4:00 pm GMT, 10:00 pm CST, 9:00 am MST, 8:00 am, PST) (5) week group sessions • 60 min. Live & Interactive on Go to Meeting All levels of ability (Kiln Fired)


Wednesday, March 3 - 24

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (12:00 pm CST, 11:00 am MST, 10:00 am PST) (4) week group sessions • 60 min. Live & Interactive on Go to Meeting

(Torch or Kiln Fired)


Mondays, March 15 -April 19, 2021

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

(12:00 pm CDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)

(6) weeks group sessions • 60 min. Live & Interactive on Go to Meeting

(Kiln Fired)


Wednesday, March 24 - April 14, 2021

6:00 PM- 7:00 PM EST

(11:00 pm GMT, 5:00 pm CST, 4:00 pm MST, 3:00 pm PST)

(4) week group sessions • 60 min. Live & Interactive on Go to Meeting All levels of ability

(Torch or Kiln Fired)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  

Looking for the perfect 2-sided Opal?

Chris knows what you want in an Opal -- Beautiful depth and flash along with an artisan cut Take a sneak peek as to what he will be offering this week for Friday's Auction 1o Opals from 10 AM - 10 PM EDT on Christopher Gage's Facebook Page


bottom of page