My first try w/ Fast fire Bronzclay seems to be a success. To be completely honest, this is my second firing of this load since I accidentally used the acid-washed carbon rather than the coconut shell. Also bumping up the firing temp to 1545 rather than 1525 seemed to help, too.
The colors were quite a surprise! I figured they would be dull and maybe slightly gold-toned. The first ones out of the firing pan (the 8 bead caps near the 5 o’clock position) were not too colorful, but still have some interesting patterns on them. It wasn’t until I swirled my stainless steel hemostat around in the medium trying to fish some out -with my respirator on- that I noticed a flash of color change. The bright orange was a complete shock since I’ve never gotten such vivid color from the coconut shell carbon. Another thing that seemed to help was almost fishing it out and then re-submerging it in the carbon. That’s how I got some of the raku looking pieces. The far left are the ones that were on the very bottom and so they stayed in the longest. In case anyone is interested- I fired at full ramp to 1545* holding for two hours. I had my pan up on kiln posts, and the lid was not fully covering the container. After it was done firing, I removed the kiln lid around 1300* and left the pan- still covered w/ the lid- in the kiln until the temp read ~230-250. Can’t remember the exact number now, should’ve written it down. After removing it carefully from the kiln, I searched for my hemostats and started digging for the bead caps soon after. Et voilà!
The blog has been woefully neglected (again) while I’m trying to get as much done as possible during my short spurts of free time, i.e. nap time. As my dad loved to say, “I’m busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.”
Not sure if the slip-painted pattern on the left is too weird- the inspiration came from two different sources: the grease trail in my frying pan and one design from a book of quilts.
Oh, and these are some of the bronzclay hollow forms from more than a year ago that I’m finally getting around to using. Good thing they don’t go bad- although they’re hard as rocks to try and carve..hence, the slip painting.
Just wanted to show some pics of the beads I’ve done in the last day or so:
Ok, back to the torch while Z is napping..more pics later.
I feel like the tortoise instead of the hare trying to get my inventory built up for my first show next month. But I suppose since the tortoise won in the end, this sort of progress is good. My Etsy shop will be lacking in love and new items since most everything will be going w/ me to Oakland.