Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alchemy Gone Awry

Iccckkkk.....I debated with myself whether or no to post this disaster. I fired these a couple of days ago according to the firing schedule I used for the first test batch of bronze clay. But things went way a miss of the mark. I didn't control the firing schedule as well. I overshot the mark on temperature in the kiln. A patient person would have just let everything cool off and started over on the first phase of firing. So what you see here is bronze pieces that did not fully lose their organic binding material before they went to temperature (actually over a bit). What you see is the product of impatience.



But a couple of pieces came out OK. The one on the upper right of the first frame is made from copper clay. It fired beautifully! On the bottom left is one of the bronze pieces that are alright. Bit of LOS and scrubbing with steel wool and these pieces are fine.
Conclusions? Well it seems the copper clay is much more forgiving than the bronze clay. Will I keep pursuing the bronze? You bet. I love a challenge! And I love the colour of the bronze.

21 comments:

kelleysbeads said...

how frustrating when our impatience has such disappointing consequences :(

glad you will stick with the bronze clay, Leann. your work is so beautiful!

Marbella Designs said...

Oh yes, stick with the clays, I'd love to see your beautiful work in this medium.

sharon said...

LeAnn, I find it very difficult when jewelry doesn't go my way, I just have to leave it and come back later.....sometimes way later! Judging by the way the good ones came out, you'll have it under control in no time! They look great!

Katie said...

Just look past the not so pretty ones and look at those very pretty ones that you ended up with...Very nice! Just think how much more proud you will be of a complete "good" batch...

I agree with Sharon - based on the good ones, I bet the good/bad ratio works itself out in no time!

Prairie Emporium said...

LeAnn, The good ones look great, I love the copper. Debbie

stregata said...

WoW!!! That's the way in the alchemist's workshop - things happen. Not always the way you wanted. But I can see where you are going and does it ever look good!!!!
Fantastic, LeAnn!

Carol B said...

The survivors are beautiful. Learning experiences are such road bumps!

Lilla Jizo said...

Hmm... I kind of like the "disaster" ones... there is beauty in this...

Lorelei said...

Very cool LeAnn! I mean, I'm sorry about the yucky ones, but these others came out very cool! Will you be selling these eventually?

SummersStudio said...

Hey you all, thanks for the support here. This is a matter of sorting out a firing schedule that works and sorting out my impatience ;0. Eventually, these will be for sale. Right now I need to hang on to them a bit to make sure they work out OK over time.

Kristin said...

I'm probably a weirdo, but I like them all! The "survivors" look wonderful and the others are really cool and look a bit damaged, but in a wonderful way. I can't wait to see how your next firing goes.

SummersStudio said...

Unfortunately the damaged survivors crumble apart. Maybe I should throw them back into the kiln and see what happens?

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

LeAnn, it kind of sounds like they didn't quite sinter properly to form the solid piece of metal. It may work to put them back in another firing cycle and try letting them bond all the way. I've seen this a bit with silver metal clay also when the top temperature didn't last long enough, but re-firing them often is the fix for it. Hang in there!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Sorry for the double post but had another thought - the melting temperature of copper is lower than that of bronze, so that would explain why the copper is fully sintered but some of the bronze not quite.

SummersStudio said...

Oddly enough the copper clay fires to a higher temperature than bronze according to all the firing instructions. It was a gamble putting them in at the same time. It only sintered I think because I over fired the bronze. I also ramped too fast on the first phase so what's happened is that there is still a lot of mushy binder left behind. If you ever do bronze it needs to go very, very slowly up to 1500 degrees. These pieces were all held at temp for 3 hours. It's messy stuff the firing of these bronze pieces.

Candace said...

Found you through another blog and am glad I did. I have caught up on your blog's posts and am so happy to find another good artist with a good heart (there are other kinds, of course, but I have been lucky!).

I recently had a disaster of my own and it was a gift for a friend. How devastated I was! Oh well, back in the saddle we all must go.
Candace

SummersStudio said...

Welcome Candace and what nice words.

Marie Cramp said...

You know what, they look better than you think. I am looking at them going...hhhmmmm...charms on a rustic bracelet. FUN!!! think about it...

Marie
http://skyejewels.blogspot.com

sharon said...

LeAnn, congrat's on your ABS front page showing today...your looking good!!

Gardanne said...

Playing with bronze and copper clay is on my long to do list. You are not alone, other blogs I have visited say that the learning curve is steep with the bronze clay. Good news that the copper is easier to fire, that will be what I try first.

Silver Parrot said...

The ones that survived are absolutely beautiful!