I’ve been having a bit of fun with my new clays, I haven’t used copper or bronze clay before, I was surprised how different they are from each other and silver clay. I had them drying slowly so they wouldn’t warp, then the sun came out when I wasn’t looking. Let’s hope I can flatten them once fired.
I’m interested in creating patinas, and burnishing the high points, I have the cocoa shell for firing the bronze clay, it should fire with interesting colours. Also I have some ammonia salt and vinegar to try. I was just reading in art jewellery about using sauerkraut to create a patina, so maybe I’ll be looking in the Polish section at Tescos.
Here they are ready for firing
I fired the copper clay this morning, you put it into a preheated kiln at 970C , what they don’t tell you is your shelf paper catches fire very quickly at that temperature.
So once fired they are quenched quickly to remove fire scale, I was surprised at how much came off. Some needed flattening with a hammer, then tumbled to polish and work harden the metal.
After firing, and a tumble
I want to try different patinas, so first the piece heat treated, I like the way patinas pick up the texture.
This one has liver of sulphur patina, one of the things I love about metal clay is the way you can almost make your own fossils.
I have some being cured with salt vinegar and ammonia, whew that doesn’t half clear the sinuses.
The firing cycle for bronze clay is quite long, they have to be fired in activated carbon, and need to be left to cool slowly so the colour develops. They were left overnight to cool down, these pieces have shrunk more than the copper clay.
I’m going to patinate these once I get my water back on later today , so more later