Old Pearl Grey Steel is Back

Upon request by several customers, Pearl Grey Steel (not XT), which was discontinued at the beginning of the year, is back on the shelves and available on my Online Store.

This type of steel is best used in a mixed metal piece because of its lower shrinkage rate. It is especially recommended for gradient surfaces.


Mokume-gane Bird

Ocean View


Over the past few days, I tried over and over to make this last piece using the other steel clays, but with no success. I would like to thank Susan Weirather for alerting me to this problem and for her patience and perseverance while trying to solve it.

Projects for this type of gradient surface can be found in my book Patterns of Color in Metal Clay.

Please note that Pearl Grey Steel (I am not referring to XT) is not as strong as Quick-fire Steel XT and Pearl Grey Steel XT when the Pearl Grey Steel is fired on its own.

12 Responses to “Old Pearl Grey Steel is Back”

  • Vera Says:

    Dear Hadar,

    Thank you for your research. Your love and joy and creativity with the clay continue to amaze, inspire and delight me! Thank you!

  • Jane Bannister Says:

    Hi Hadar
    I’m new to your blog, I’ve only been working with your clays for the past month. I’ve worked with your copper and your bronze with great success, however, I’m having a little trouble with white bronze? I use your firing schedule for copper and bronze and as I said it’s perfect (I have a front load kiln) but when I fired the white bronze the carbon ‘stuck’ slightly to the back causing ‘pitting’. I’ve tried lowering the second phase by 5 deg c and it still ‘stuck’ (the front of the pieces are fine) so I tried lowering it another 5 deg c and although there was very slight pitting on the back there was now slight pitting on the front when I polished the pieces? Do you have any suggestions?? Kind regards Jane

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:


    If the front of the piece was fine at the higher temperature I would stay with it. Try placing the piece not directly on the carbon but on a piece of fiber paper. 1/8″. Good luck!

  • Jane Bannister Says:

    Hi Hadar, thank you for your very quick response!! I will try that at the weekend!


  • Jenny Ekberg Says:

    Hi Hadar, yes, I did have this problem with XT! Thanks so much for allowing us to buy the old type now. Btw, I made some really cool hollow forms with PGS XT. Sea urchin beads and pine cone earrings. Look really nice! I used to make these things in silver, but I really wanted to make something that young people with not much money could afford. So your clays are exactly what I needed.

  • Jenny James Says:

    I just bought some white bronze after having not used it for 2 years. I have 2 issues. 1) half of the pieces sinter and half don’t. I think the main problem is the burning off of binder. I tried stovetop and kiln at 1000f for an hour and a half. In the kiln I covered the pieces with carbon during phase one. Is that correct?
    2) the pieces are very yellow when compared to the pieces from 2 yrs ago with an older clay formulation.

  • Hadar Jaobson Says:

    Jenny, The temperature and the time seem wrong. Please open the instruction manual from my blog, since there are dated versions online. It has been updated in January 2012.

  • Jenny James Says:

    I think I didnt communicate very well. I followed the newest schedule. I tried phse one on stovetop. When that was only successful for some of the pieces I tried phase one in the kiln at 1000f as instructed. In both instances I fired the second phase for two hours at 1250 in my brick kiln. I went over your checklist in the newest instruction manual and have followed all directions. From the appearance of the pieces that failed I think it is a phase one problem. should I turn up the temperature on the kiln past 1000f during phase one? Should I try phase one in the kiln on top of carbon but without carbon covering it, as is done on the stovetop?

    The other question is regarding the color difference between quick fire white bronze and original white bronze. The newer quick fire clay results in pieces that are distinctly yellow, almost as yellow as bronze whereas the older version pieces are very white/ grey/ silver with no yellow cast to them. Is this a problem with the finishing, or the brand of coconut carbon the pieces are fired in or possibly the formulation of the quick fire clay?

  • Hadar Jaobson Says:

    Jenny, To your first question, the stove-top method is more reliable because you can actually see when the binder is gone. You can do this in a kiln with the pieced uncovered, but place the bowl in the kiln only after it reached about 600F.

    To your second question, there was no change in the formula. Try to remember what changes you have made since last year (carbon, box, etc.). If you send me the piece I will be glad to check it for you.

  • Jenny James Says:

    The only difference is the carbon. I would have used activated carbon that is used in water filters when I was firing it before. Now I am using coconut carbon. I will try using the other type of carbon and see if it gives me the color I want. I also bought a type of carbon at metal clay website that they refer to as “Rainbow Carbon”. I can try that as well.
    Thanks a bunch for your input. I will take a photo of the pieces and show you the color difference. The older pieces are hard to distinguish from silver treated with liver of sulfer. The newer pieces look like bronze.

  • Sylvia Tevlin Says:

    I have just finished making a few pieces with pearl grey steel (not xt) inlayed with copper and bronze. I’m ready to start phase 1. I’m unsure about phase 2, though. Should I fire the pieces at 1880 or 1520 degrees in my muffle kiln?

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Sylvia, If your piece contains bronze, the temperature at phase 2 should be 1520 in your kiln. The temperature is always determined by the lowest firing clay in the mix.

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