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I have always made jewelry. I started out making earrings for friends when I was 8 or 10 and has continued through the years. I love to figure out ways to create a new pair of earrings or a pendant or to make something from trash that someone else threw away.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Art Clay Copper

For the last few weeks I've been experimenting with a new material. AC Copper. I never thought I would never get it. My first experiment was a rose pendant. Trying to work as fast as I could the clay kept drying out. What I have since realized was I was kneading it as you would dough to form a ball, when flattened out it supplied hairline cracks that even using water to moisten didnt fix. Also this was over fired which caused weakness in those cracks causing it to split in every weakend spot.
Next was the attempt to make the Star Anise ... ( my name ) It was completely unsintered in the middle and powdery when I quenched it I heard a pop. :(
The next attempt I tried to keep it simple. I had some great advice from experienced people and they all said keep trying. I kept it thick placed my scrappy tool underneath so I could transport it to my plate warmer put some textured beads imprinted in the front and left them until completely dry. ( an hour or two) Then I sanded and fired. When I fired I got it to the pretty cherry red and kept it on for 5 or so min. let it naturally cool down then flipped it over and noticed in the center it looked not done. It was clay color in the center, I'm sure it was sintered but to be on the safe side... I fired it again till the whole piece was cherry again. Let it cool then burnished by hand and polished. Yay! Then I went with a complete experiment and made a thinner piece in the shape of a dandelion ( hoping I could use this as a challenge piece!)
It worked again! yay!
It does take patience working with this particular clay. It is very different than working with Silver clay and is messier I worked with it on a piece of glass, this was easy to clean up and didnt stick as much...
I hope this helps someone that is wanting to torchfire AC Copper.

1 comment:

  1. I'm finding, too, that it is a lot different from silver clay and I am so glad it's that much cheaper since I have had a lot of mistakes to discard!