Low Shrinkage Steel XT Now Available

Low Shrinkage Steel XT

Low Shrinkage Quick-fire Steel XT is now available on my online store.

Low Shrinkage Quick-fire Steel XT shrinks only 10%, like Quick-fire copper. This makes it easy to work with on its own, as well as in combination with other metals. While drying it behaves like copper, with hardly any need to flip it over to avoid warping. Working with multiple layers is easy, since the difference in shrinkage between dry and wet layers is minimal. This is also the case with pieces which require complex construction.

I have always recommended using copper or mixed (scrap) clay as a backing layer when working with more than one clay. This is because their shrinkage rate is lowest. If we use bronze as a backing layer, flat pieces will curve backwards because of the higher shrinkage of bronze. Now Low-shrinkage Steel XT can also be used as a backing layer, whether we use just one clay or more. This expands our possibilities, since copper is not necessarily out aesthetic choice when it comes to designing the major part of a piece.

For example: My choice of copper as a backing layer in the piece below was dictated by its lowest shrinkage.

Houses sun and ocean

Now that I have more freedom of choice, I can use steel instead, as in this locket:

Locket

Back

The locket was made with Low Shrinkage Steel XT as the backing layer, with accents of copper and Bronze XT. It was fired at the high firing schedule of steel.

Both high- and low-shrinkage steel work well in mokume gane patterns.

On another note: My second book: Silver and Bronze Clay: Movement and Mechanisms is now out of print. Being busy with other projects, I have currently no plans for printing a second edition. If you would like a copy of the book, you may still be able to find it at my distributors.

Book 2 cover

And finally, here is a project for a belt ring. If you make it with low shrinkage Quick-fire Steel XT, account for 2 sizes shrinkage (rings don’t shrink like flat pieces).


13 Responses to “Low Shrinkage Steel XT Now Available”

  • Anita Leclercq Says:

    So, as i understand it. As long as we purchase all clays in the new quick fire, low shrink type, they can all be used together and will all shrink about the same?

  • Hadar Jaobson Says:

    Anita, To be precise: Quick-fire copper, Quick-fire Bronze XT, Rose Bronze, and Low shrinkage steel XT.

  • Cindy Pope Says:

    Dear Hadar, Thanks so much for this new option. Is there similar strength with the original? Steel xt Can you hammer it?

    Any chance of a new High temp bronze flex version?

    Thanks so much,

    Cindy

  • Damienne Dibble Says:

    Thanks for your latest info. I’ve been debating about yielding to the high shrinkage in steel xt and the new bronze xt. Does your bronze xt still
    shrink at 28%? If so, what conditions can I expect in using the older quick-fire bronze with the steel? I’m ready to order steel and bronze, but which?

  • David Crookes Says:

    Looking forward to the trial kit ordered. Having a go myself lol.
    Just ordered your book too. (Thanks – Craftworx).
    Lots of inspiration – Probably looking at purchasing all 4!!!

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Cindy,
    The answer is yes. It’s strong an malleable. Flex bronze XT – certainly something to think about.

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Damienne, Bronze XT still shrinks 28%. However, as you can see in the photo of the locket shown in the posting, it can still be fired on top of low shrinkage steel XT without shrinkage problems. the older Quick-fire bronze would deform or melt if fired with steel at high temperature. So, if you want to fire steel and bronze together, you will need the new ones.

  • melissa richardson Says:

    sounds wonderful….is the there a different firing temperature for this new steel?? Also, how do you get them so polished??

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Melissa, The firing temperature is the same. They go through the whole finishing process and then dipped in oil.

  • Christy Miller Says:

    Thanks Hadar for sharing.!!!!

  • Erica Says:

    I am new to your clays and still confused. What does “quick fire” mean, can I omit the first during phase/stove? I just purchased the quick fire steel xt low shrinkage, do I fire it like I did the pearl gray steel in the past? Thanks for clearing this up!!

  • Erica Says:

    That was supposed to say “first firing phase,” sorry! 🙂

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Erica,
    You still need to do the first phase. Fire it like you used to fire Pearl Grey Steel. The title “Quick-fire” is only meant to differentiate it from the Traditional (Flex) clays.

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