Be sure to always download the Instruction Manual from this blog only, as there appear to be many outdated versions in circulation online!
Since some readers have expressed confusion regarding the new products, here are a few clarifications.
The old Quick-fire Steel and Pearl Grey Steel have been discontinued. Everything you could do with those products can be done with Quick-fire Steel XT (NEW) and Pearl Grey Steel XT. Both of these products are available in 50 and 25 grams.
These clays are improved versions of the discontinued clays.
1. Both can be fired on their own. The result is very strong. Quick-fire Steel XT can be hammered into shape after firing.
2. Both can be fired in combination with other metals under the required conditions, as specified in the instruction manual.
How can you tell one from the other?
The color of Quick-fire Steel XT is black. The color of Pearl Grey Steel XT is gray.
After firing, Quick-fire Steel XT can be hammered into shape and drilled. Pearl Grey Steel XT is too hard for that. Other differences are yet to be discovered. Their consistency is the same. They are both used and fired in the same way. When fired on their own, they result in a gray, silvery look; when fired in combination with other metals, they will be black if patina is applied.
Both shrink by 28% when fired on their own; rings are very strong and shrink by 3.5 sizes. Since the fired metal is porous, it holds oil very well, which, in turn, helps avoid corrosion. Please refer to the full firing and finishing instructions in the Instruction Manual.
Why choose one over the other?
This is a matter of personal preference. As stated above, their full potential is yet to be discovered.
Because of the high shrinkage of the steel clays, some distortion can happen while firing in carbon. The Instruction Manual shows how to construct a simple cage to fire them in.
What if I still have the discontinued clays?
If you still have the discontinued clays, you can use them up the same way you’ve been using them until now. I believe the discontinued clays may still available from some of our distributors at the old price while supplies last.
The series of clays that are most suitable for flexible clay (known as Traditional or Flex) has been expanded to include Rose Bronze and Pearl Grey Steel XT as well. There are now 4 Flex clays (copper, bronze, Rose Bronze, and Pearl Grey Steel XT).
The entire series is also available now as a sampler kit containing one small bottle of each.
For more photos of pieces made with the new clays, please see my earlier blog posting.