Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Brilliant!

In my last post,  I mentioned that silver clay seemed better suited for the elevator design.  I think that's because the design is small and  delicate.  Until I tried Hadar Jacobson's brilliant bronze clay.

The original bronze clays seem better suited (at least to me) for larger, clunkier pieces.  But the brilliant bronze clay is supposed to look more golden.......... and it does.

I mixed up a small batch the other day and made small test pieces using my photopolymer plate from the National Transit Series.  The clay mixed just like Hadar's other powdered clays.  Spritz distilled water into the powdered clay and stir.  Keep doing this until the clay starts to stick to itself and pull away from the container.  At that point, place the clay in saran wrap and begin to knead the clay until it is smooth and has a clay consistency.   It has a nice silky feel (like Hadar's other clays) and is easy to work with.

There was a difference though when sanding the clay.  I found it denser and harder to sand than Hadar's other quick-fire clays.   It wasn't difficult to sand; just did not produce as much dust.

The firing is the exact same as the original quick-fire.  Fire in charcoal in an open container, burning out the binder at 1100 degrees for thirty minutes to two hours.  Time depends on the amount of clay and the size of the pieces.  These were small pieces so I fired them for thirty minutes.  Since I have a muffle kiln and a front loader, the pieces are positioned in the back of the pan with half inch between them, an inch of charcoal beneath them and a half inch to one inch on top of them.

Let the container and charcoal cool to room temperature and blow the ash off the top of the charcoal.  Add more charcoal to the pan to replace the charcoal burned up.  The second firing is 1520 degrees for two hours.   Kilns may vary so it's best to make small samples and try the firing temperature in your kiln.  The temperatures may have to be varied for your specific kiln.  Luckily my kiln works perfectly with Hadar's temperatures.

The pieces looked different out of the kiln.  They were lighter in color and more yellow with areas of orange.  The minute I applied the 3M wheel to the piece it was obvious how much brighter they were than the other bronze clays.   I like them (looks like gold without the price tag.)

Unfortunately my photos do not do justice to the pieces.  (Again!)

The two small pieces are examples of how new shapes come into being after I drill too close to the edge and break through........ nothing lost.)

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