Month: January 2009

Bronzclay Playdate and the Refired Mistake

I try to meet up every month, when possible, with a group of lampworkers in the Bay Area- we call ourselves the Beady Gals.
Since I’d been interested in Bronzclay for a while, I ran the idea by the girls and we set a playdate to teach ourselves about Bronzclay. A couple of days beforehand I tried it out (see earlier post) and we were able to save time and make less mistakes when we met up.
The consensus seemed to be that although it was difficult to work with due to quick drying that caused brittleness, the price compared to PMC makes it worth trying to work around its pitfalls.

The beads from my dry run were able to be saved when they were refired properly, although they seemed just a little bit darker in appearance compared to the others.

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Glass Heart

I must say that I’m in love with Reichenbach Silver Brown cane. It reacts beautifully with silver glass and will fume nicely when you reduce the bead. This heart was an experiment I still have to replicate- maybe it was serendipity, but I’m determined to try and reproduce the effect.

These are the three beads using the same glass combo with different effects.

First Try with Bronzclay

These Bronzclay pieces are in their leather-hard state and about to be fired. They dried over night and I used approx. 50 grams of the clay. I’ve been wanting to try this medium since it’s more economical than PMC- which I’ve been too chicken to try out and mess up. The videos posted online at http://www.cooltools.us/ were very helpful and kept mistakes on my part to a minimum.

Unfortunately for me, living in an old house makes it hard not to trip a circuit breaker when we have too many things plugged in and running. Hard lesson learned this afternoon when it was tripped ThReE times due to the kiln going higher than my usual annealing schedule. We finally just plugged into the shed outlet and that seemed to work. Turns out bronzclay is as finicky as advertised since mine was not fully sintered. I plan on seeing if these pieces can be refired and sintered properly. The color is a nice old gold that is matte in appearance.