Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 5, 2009:
Copper Clay - Good & Bad

Never one to let something kick me in the butt - copper clay has almost done this! I experimented... molded some (angel mold, shell, maple leaf, mountains), textured some (about 2 cards thick) and then sliced it into triangles thinking I could make earrings from it, and all the while thinking - it dries out faster than silver.

I fired the pieces:

Angel mold - too big for torch firing so after the piece was fired and dipped into water to stop the fire scale from popping off as it cooled and hitting me in the face - I waited a while and then stress tested it. In otherwords I mauled the piece. The wings snapped off but the head remained solid. I believe it was a sintering issue - I dont think I held it at 'salmon' for 5 full minutes. THAT and the fact that in trying to use less clay (remember by propensity for using too much) I put the clay into the mold in pieces and I personally think some of the breaks were along the lines where the pieces were mushed in.

Shell mold - seems good no breakage

Maple leaf mold - the stem broke off - and the piece was not 100% stable. See final reasoning above in Angel mold - I think it was 'Stupid User Error' in putting the clay into the mold.

Mountain mold - OMG worked great... settle, settle dont get all excited.

Texture sheets - not so good. After checking with my Art Clay Friends on Facebook I discovered that it could be because it was too thin. The break test failed in a major way.

Then I created an "acorn" pretty thick. That sintered completely after 5 mins of heating to 'salmon' stage. And I made a mold of a cool acorn cap and that too sintered well - although later when trying to put a hole through the stem, it broke off. That piece had been re-attached after I dropped it on the floor - dah, hard wood floor not good for pre-fired pieces!

So far, my one wish for copper is that the heart pieces I want to make for my Brother and Sister-in-law work out seems to be good-to-go.

Waiting on Silver Prep to come in so I can "pickle" them and see how they look once I burnish them.

No photos yet.

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