Monday, December 14, 2009

getting ready for my kiln........ playing with bronze clay

This top picture is what 100 grams of bronze PMC clay looks like. I'm actually surprised how much I could make with 100 grams! They are drying on tiles covered with wax paper, which isn't probably the best way to dry them, but I just had to play with some clay... I got my big box of clay, clay tools and stuff for the kiln.. but I don't have the kiln yet. It's coming direct from the manufacturer and I'll be lucky to get it by Christmas. (RATS!) Once I get it I really want to be able to plug it in and just go to town making stuff. So I spent time Sat setting up a couple loads of glass for the kiln for whenever I get it. And today (Sunday) I decided to treat myself to just playing with the bronze clay.
This teardrop is about 1 inch tall. See the kewl texture? The no. 1 reason I have been dying to play with PMC again is texture. This by the way, is from a mold I made from a vintage glass button from my collection. I used a teardrop shaped cutter I can't wait to see what this will look like fired! The main reason I want to play with Bronze clay in peculiar is the spectacular color range you achieve! I made 4 of them, in hopes of making earrings probably.
This is another vintage button mold, this one is bone, and I"m pretty sure it's really old. I got it at an estate sale back in the 90's and it was mixed in with a bunch of Victorian to 20's glass beads and buttons. I had 6 of them originally, but I'm down to 3.. I sold the rest on ebay years ago ( If I remember once of them sold for over $20.00!) I made about 15 molds of buttons and vintage pins in my stash... it's going to be fun using them all.

Once I get my kiln, I'll run a few of these at a time to get the right range on my kiln, then I'll be able to do batches.

Bronze clay has to be "cooked" in activated carbon in a stainless steel container, which can give the pieces fabulous patinas. I also bought PMC3, which is fine silver once it's fired and doesn't require the carbon treatment. I was saving the PMC3 I bought to play with once I get the kiln and get good running it, but after having so much fun with bronze, I"m thinking of breaking out a package and just firing it with my torch, which is an option if you don't have a kiln. I'm going to try to be good, but I like having that "back door" if I just can't stand the wait!!

here is a gallery of PMC and copper and bronze clay pieces, some of these are just to die for!

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