Pat Accorinti Jewelry Design

Working With BronzClay

Posted in Uncategorized by paccorinti on June 19, 2013

I have been teaching a metal clay class through Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation for the last year and this session we have been experimenting with bronze and copper. I have fired quite a bit of bronze clay in my Paragon SC2 kiln but I bought a new Paragon kiln, one with a brick interior and exposed elements. I wanted this kiln because bronze and copper take higher temperatures and longer firing time. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the difference in the firing schedules. After some initial failures, I have gone back to the SC2 to fire my student’s work, to get more consistent firing results.

I fired my first samples in the new kiln using the temperature suggested in the BronzClay package. Things came out blistered and lots of cracks and broken pieces. I was able to mend a couple of things but most went into the “recycle” bag.

IMG_1648

I then did some research and found some information on the Cool Tools website about firing schedules.
I adjusted the firing schedule by slowing the ramp and lowering the temperature by almost 50 degrees. I still had problems with cracking. It seemed like the metal was sintered because the test strips of metal could be bent to 90 degrees. At that point I decided to go back to my SC2. I fired the bronze clay with the schedule I had previously used with success,

I still had some cracking with the open work pieces but these were easily repairable. Now I just need to see if I can figure out how the two kilns heat and hold temperature differently to see if I can fire successfully in the brick kiln.

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