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.  

2 comments:

convergentseries said...

Is your pattern identical all the way around?

I'm sure you know this but (I add, simply wanting to help watch out for my friend here) if there's just enough variation to be distinguishable (need only be on one side), then be sure to note how you put it in your firing pan.

That'll make it easier to (a) tell which location did not sinter, if there is a problem or (b) know how to turn it around to refire if you decide to simply do that "just in case."

I look forward to seeing the final fired outcome!

Alice Walkowski said...

Thanks for the heads up Carol. I did think about that as it is radially symmetrical. I plan on marking it when I take it out (I do that with my firing pan so it doesn't get put back in backwards.) I don't think I'm even going to test it, just put it back in with some other unfired pieces and redo both firings.