Recycling PMC


There are many things to do with clay filings and tidbits of metal clay that you have discarded and pieces that you won’t wear or sell.

For the metal dry clay filings, you can grind them in a coffee grinder, work them through a fine-mesh sieve to remove impurities, reconstitute with water, allow to sit for a day, and add the fitting amount of water to make your own clay, paste, or syringe.

You can melt down your fired scraps and do some sand casting. Patrik Kusek has a good class on this that can be found at CraftCast.

With regards to fine and sterling silver in the dry clay form, you can recycle them for money or credit.

Since I sell my work, I like to use newly manufactured, packaged clay. Since I use a lot of jewelry findings and chains, which I purchase from RioGrande, I like to turn in my scrap metal for credit. RioGrande’s quality matches its prices: both are high.

How I recycle my scraps is described in the photos and captions below.

My catch tray is simply a sheet of glossy photograph paper with the sides folded.
 I do all my sanding over this and then pour these filings into a container. 

Just another view of my catch tray. I keep my fine silver filings separate from my sterling silver or 960 filings.

I wear an N95 mask when I’m sanding because as you know silver dust is fine. 
I often use battery driven, fingernail manicure tools for sanding, which puts lots of the fine dust into the air.
As you can see, it doesn
t take long to dirty a mask. This fine dust would otherwise be in my lungs.

Here is the container into which I pour my filings.
It happens to have in it the plastic wrapper from a new package of silver clay,
waiting to have the stuck remaining clay wiped off into the jar.

I add water into this jar and mix well.
I make it a little more moist than usual and allow it to sit at room temperature for an afternoon.
It absorbs the extra water.
This is my empty jar, after I’ve removed the contents to dry, to begin collecting again.

I pour globs onto Teflon sheets and dry these in my dehydrator over night or longer.
Here they are on coffee mug warmers, continuing to dry.

Here are the globs fresh out of the kiln. I do not bother to brass brush or do anything else at this point.

I weigh discarded pendants with all non-silver and/or foreign matter removed.

I weigh all the globs and any other recycled pieces of similar silver.
I total these up, as RioGrande’s Scrap Packing List asks for the total weight. 

Put all your scraps in a sturdy plastic bag.
I double bag mine because I may not have dulled all the edges that will poke holes.

RioGrand Scrap Payment Rate

This is the current rate (as of December 2014) that RioGrande pays for your scrap metal.
If you can, wait until the price of silver goes up before sending it in.
I recall that in 2013, silver was almost $40 per troy ounce. I recycled a bunch at that time.

Watch a RioGrande Video, Download Form, and use the Scrap Calculator by clicking on this link.

I mail my scraps to the address on the form, and I insure the package for my estimate of its value.

If anyone knows of another place to send scrap metal, let me know.

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2018