Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Copper Christmas

The copper pieces are done!! The above photo shows fired and polished pieces next to the unfired pieces.

It was a surprise when I took the lid off the stainless steel container they were fired in. I expected dark gray pieces of metal, but was greeted by a very orange color. After the first firing the pieces were a dark gray but that is probably because they were exposed to oxygen during that firing process which doesn't happen when they are buried in charcoal.

It is a messy firing though. The kiln has to be vacuumed out from all the black dust.

The construction joints were fine and they were what I was worried about. The tiny charm had a loop attached to the top and the oval earrings had a circle cut apart, put into the hole in the oval and the seam was pasted back together.

There were a couple of cracks though on the back of the disk earrings where the stones were. The cracks weren't anything major and I'm not going to do anything about them. The worst thing that happened had nothing to do with the copper clay. (I forgot to clean the stones and now my pretty pink czs are rather hazy.) They look okay since it is an even haze but I really liked the pink with the copper. (Oh, and peridot looks pretty with a haze too! That's why I have a last minute checklist posted on my wall. Obviously I don't look at it. Maybe I should move it over by the kiln. Uh, I have one on the wall by the kiln. What is it going to take? Usually once is enough but not in this case.)

Sorry, but my photos aren't the best. I didn't have time to take better ones but at least you get the idea. The finished pieces do have a patina added. The shiny copper was really pretty but the patina just added the right contrast for the textures to show.

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