Well, I didn’t know I had been away from my blog this long! I’ve had lots of non-business, non-jewelry stuff to do (and am still doing), so I thought I would update and try to at least post monthly! However, during this period of time and one does very little, I have done a lot!
My most recent adventure in clay is working with the new White Copper–wow, and wow again. It certainly has been fun to play with. It’s consistency and features in clay are almost identical to the copper clay. The one big difference is how you fire the White Copper. It is recommended that you fire a Phase 1 in the kiln for about an hour on a wire mesh to burn out the organic binders. Then on to a Phase 2 firing in the charcoal and pan. After firing, you can do the usual metal smith work you would with the other metals . . .I like the shiny brightness after tumbling and then the matte finish as well. Here is a bracelet and charm with a shiny finish. It is certainly heavier than silver, but looks more like stainless steel–really neat texture and feel.
So, this past week, I decided to combine the white copper with regular copper and was completely bedazzled!! Here is a piece with the two metals side by side:
Then I decided to blend the two clays together and see what the effect would be. What was interesting to me was that despite the product stating you must fire in two phases, I went ahead and fired the blended pieces according to the regular copper firing schedule. It worked! And, to test that theory even further, I misplaced a piece of solid white copper along with my regular copper peices (because they look so similar in the green ware stage) and fired it along with the copper and that piece was perfectly sintered and was just fine as the regular firing. So, for me, I may only keep firing the white copper along with the regular copper.
As you can see, the first bracelet with the discs has two solid copper pieces and the other three are the blended copper pieces. A very creamy metal color–some swirls of the copper are evident but all in all, it looks to me like soft pink tones throughout the metal. Wonderful! The second cuff bracelet is the solid white copper that fired with my regular copper in the kiln. No evidence of any problems. Solid and beautiful!
If you are following my blog, I will be the featured artist at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia, June 14-15! The summer collection will be available and I’ll be demonstrating my bead making technique with enamel glass and a torch.