# How to Calculate the Shrinkage of Metal Clay

How do you figure out how much to enlarge a metal clay design, so that after firing, the piece has shrunk to the size you want?This article will help you learn how to prepare a correctly sized layout for a metal clay piece. You can then take that information and use it in many ways. One way would be to greenmangourmet make your own calculate metal online free custom templates. Simply enlarge your design to the needed percentage. But first, we need to know how much to enlarge the design so the piece will shrink to the desired size after firing.

When I do this, I don’t need to measure anything. I just need to know the shrinkage rate of the clay I’m working with. (See the quick guide, below.)I can do an enlargement calculation one time for each clay type and then always use it for sizing my templates for that particular clay type.Here how I do greenmangourmet it: When calculating enlarging, I always use the number 10 to make it easy. Let’s say we are going to work with sterling silver metal clay, which I have calculated the shrinkage to be 15%. If 100% (100) represents actual size, and we shrink it by 15% (15), then 100-15 = 85. 85% is the size you are left with when something shrinks by 15%.

Next, take our easy-to-use number 10, and divide it by the Metal calculator online percentage that we have after shrinkage; 10÷85 =.1176. We need to enlarge our art by 118%.

I like to add an additional 2 to 3% to that number to accommodate the additional shrinkage of the clay from drying and the bit that I lose through sanding and refining.

So when I work with sterling silver metal clay I enlarge my designs 121%. The pieces, when fired, shrink to a size that I expect. This makes all the difference when I’m designing something with a critical fit, like a bracelet that I want to be a certain size. It is also useful when working with creating settings for stones.

Another time I use these calculations is when making a series in different clay types. I made a group of earrings in silver, copper and bronze and I wanted them to all be the same size.