Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Just like butter
Barbara Becker Simon was wearing several cuff bracelets when she was in Pittsburgh teaching her wedge class. I really liked the bracelets and always thought I'd like to try to make some, although for the longest time I resisted working with the bronze and copper clays. (Although that has definitely changed thanks to Hadar's powdered clay.)
Clay that is already mixed has a shelf life and needs to be used not long after purchase. I've had 200 grams of BronzeClay which was invented by Bill Struve. Worried that it would dry up on me, I decided that now was the time to make some cuffs bracelets. So, last Saturday at my Guild's play day, I finally got a couple of cuffs started.
The design for the cuff was not apparent to me when I started. Rolling the clay on a texture sheet didn't give me a sharp enough impression, so I just rolled it into a smooth slab. (I figured I'd worry about the design later. Hey, that's my usual MO!)
Back in the studio on Monday, I sat down and tackled the design. (I did work it out on paper first.) I pulled out my dockyard carving tools and went at it. The bronze clay was very easy to carve and the carving process was fun. (I always did like carving linoleum blocks and this was just so much easier.)
The photo shows the bracelet in progress and once it's done and fired I'll post the finished piece. My biggest concern is getting full sintering since the piece takes up the entire firing pan. I suspect that I'll have to fire it once, turn it around and fire it a second time.