Let me state at the outset that: 1. this is not a product review; 2. I have no financial interest in promoting this product. I have been providing my input during the development of the ClayMill extruder with the sole interest that it should exist in the market and be available for the metal clay community. That’s because I have seen what can be done with it and believe that its full potential has yet to be explored.
This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. A bigger extruder allows us to extrude large mixed metal beads, cuffs, hair pins, and bracelet links, all in one extrusion. Apart from its ability to extrude large items, it also allows us to produce multiple pieces – a few pairs of earrings, for example – when we need to stock up for a sale or a show, again, in only one extrusion.
When I say one extrusion, the total amount of clay is either 80 or 120 grams of powder clay after it has been mixed with water. That means one 100-gram jar of powder or less.
However, there is more to it than the size and quantity: in my book Metal Clay Practice, on pp. 116-127, you can find instructions and projects that show what designs this extruder can produce that are impossible to achieve with smaller ones. One example is the the pattern of the rings on the books cover:
Here are some more examples:
Both the bead above and the pair of earrings were made with one extrusion. The whole bracelet was also made with one extrusion.
I’d like to demonstrate here a more basic project that may help get you started. It includes a lot of photos, but only because I wanted to show every detail. The project is actually very simple. The instructions for feeding the barrel of the ClayMill extruder are somewhat different from the instructions I’ve been giving in my books regarding the smaller extruder. The project explains and demonstrates this.
For your convenience the project is available as a PDF file so you can print it out and attach it to the book. Here it is.