Being out of the loop a bit with Metal Clay has meant that I haven't really experimented with all the new clays that have been appearing. So I decided to try and fit in a bit of time with them to see which ones I could add to my regular stash!
Before Christmas I'd ordered some Creative Bronze Clay and Creative Copper Clay from Cookson Gold. Its taken me until now to break it open! I decided to just make some really simple cut out pieces that I could use as earring pieces.
The bronze clay feels really nice out of the pack, and to me feels much more like working with silver clay, it's smoother and less grainy than others I've tried.
It took the texture really nicely, and when it started to dry out a bit, adding a drop of water instantly made a big difference and returned it back to a nice workable state.
One of the issues for me in the past has been the way that bronze clays react when you try joining pieces together. I regularly make hollow bead shapes when it's crucial that the clay joins nicely. I've had joins split apart during firing and while i can repair and refire, I'd rather it worked first time! With this in mind I made a hollow lentil bead as well.
Apologies for the not great camera phone picture! But here are the sample pieces before going into the kiln.
I fired as per the instructions in the pack which was 800oC for 30 minutes.
Did the pieces fire correctly - NO!!!!
One of the pod shaped pieces is now in half where I snapped it to test whether the clay had sintered.
I had actually decided before the kiln firing not to fire the lentil as it needed a bit more refining, so I'm quite glad about that! I've been researching a bit online today and have found a couple of alternative firing schedules, so I'm going to give those a go - nothing to lose really.
I have to say I am increasingly frustrated by products that are put out into the marketplace and don't work as the instructions say! If the instructions are 800oC for 30 mins then that is what I expect to work - I don't think that's unreasonable!
The next time I get over to the studio, I'll re-fire and keep my fingers crossed! Next on my list of things to order are Hadar's clays and Goldie Bronze - fingers crossed I can get successful firings for these