Monday, April 26, 2010

BronzeClay Bothers

So how was your weekend? I was very productive, creatively, but not very successful. For the most part I work in silver clay and have no problems. Lately I have been trying to make some bronze clay pieces because I love the colored surfaces you can achieve. But my experiments this weekend did not turn out well. Most all of my pieces had bubbles in them. I first thought I over-fired them and my kiln was too hot. So I decreased the temperature. Nope, the next batch still had bubbles. Then I thought perhaps I had not dried the pieces enough before firing. So I dried them overnight and fired them Sunday. Nope, batch number three still had bubbles. So now I am off to the wonderful web to find some answers. Because BronzeClay is still relatively new, there is no “guaranteed” firing schedule out there. See this squidoo lens that gives a number of different firing schedules. After looking at this and Cool Tools photo trouble shooting guide, I think I might have one of two problems. I guess Bronze is more likely to have air bubbles in the clay when you first open it. It seems to need more conditioning than silver clay. This might be true for my pieces because the thinnest pieces were the ones that made it without bubbles. But according to Cool Tools, I may still have my kiln too hot. But if that is the case, I would expect the thinner smaller pieces to have more bubbles than the larger pieces. But it is easy to try it and figure it out. I only dropped the temperature 25 degrees. I hate wasting all this clay, but now I am sort of determined to make it work out of pure stubbornness. I’ll show you the finished “successful” pieces soon (hopefully).  In the meantime, you can admire the work of BronzeClay master, Celie Fago

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