Metal clay is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silver, gold, or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelry, beads, and small sculptures. Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay by hand or using molds. After drying, the metal clay is fired in the kiln and the binder burns away, leaving the pure, sintered metal. Shrinkage of between 8% and 30% occurs (depending on the product used). Different metal clay types require different firing temperatures.