Sanding Interior Contours

Refining pieces is the best way to add value to your work. Two metal clay pieces can be made up of the exact same amount of silver, and even be the same design but still have very different perceived values. Quality is a very important selling point when making jewelry, so be sure to take the time to refine and finish as much as is practical.

Getting into tight interior spaces is one of the trickiest maneuvers you can make with metal clay. Usually these areas are very delicate and fragile, like on a my “Arabian Nights Pendant”. To smooth any rough edges along the curved contours, I like to use sanding needles. The grit covers the entire stiff plastic needle, even all the way down the needle-sharp tip. Make gentle downward strokes starting with a coarse (purple) or medium (green) grit. With a piece like this, placing it on a rubber block with a hole will make it even easier to sand because the sander can pass into the block, giving you even more control.


For the straight interior edges, I like to use the 1/8″ sanding sticks. With the piece still on the block with the hole, use downward strokes to clean up the edges and even those tight interior corners. Because they are so narrow and are mounted on foam, they give just the right amount as you work.


To remove any sanding scratches, you can use the fine orange needles or sticks. These sticks and needles have completely changed how I refine all of my metal clay pieces. All of the different sizes and grits are available on my web site. Click here to shop.