Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Playing With metal Clay

My friend Jan and I have been going to a silver clay workshop on a Wednesday evening over the past couple of weeks.  It's an interesting material!! You start with a clay and end up with a metal that is more pure than Sterling!  

We spent a little time learning the basics with Plasticene, you have to work quite quickly with the clay and it's not too cheap to be making mistakes with.  

After moulding, drying, refining, firing and polishing, this is my first piece and I'm really rather pleased with it.


This week I had some bronze clay sent though.  Apart from it is considerably less expensive than the silver to practise with I do actually really like bronze.  I have plenty of bronze hares around the house! It is also a different process to the silver as it has to be kiln fired and you can actually work more with it once it is in a metal state.

Here are my first attempts in the bronze clay. I was trying for a variety of techniques and textures.


This is how they were after coming out of the kiln yesterday with a little wash and brush.

And after the tumbler.

They just need a bit of refining polishing.  They came out really well, very pleased.

Today the thermometer is on the freezing line and there are flurries of snow.  I am sitting here with hay-fever however as all the hazel catkins are out.  I hope the snow is not affecting you too badly wherever you are.
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10 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. I must admit that I prefer the bronze and I particularly like the oval one.

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    1. I just seem to suit yellow metals better, and Elsa pinches the white ones anyway!

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  2. Yes, beautiful work. The bronze pieces are particularly attractive. We had a few flurries here today too. Looks like we're stuck with these temperatures for some time yet :-(

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    1. The bronze can be played with and can look very different with patinas and heat treatments. A bit more exciting!

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  3. Oh, that bronze is stunning, absolutely stunning. How big are the pieces, not sure of your scale? I love the rectangles with tree.

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    1. Lol, one of the few times I actually photograph something on a white background instead of one of my cutting mats! I should have known better really. :-) The oval is about 1 1/2 x 1 inch, the rectangle is 1 x 5/8ths same as the smaller tree and the larger tree is 1 1/4 x 3/4. I'm pleased enough with the trees to try in silver too.

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  4. Knew you would master it. Love the silver ammonite. Faint scattering of snow here too.

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    1. It is a bit of fun, even the playing with the Plasticene bit! All the years I wondered how to make things out of metals, this sort of cuts a lot of those corners!

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  5. I had some awhile ago, but no class, just the instruction sheet. - I loved the clay part but never got the hang ofthe firing so the results were a bit naff, yours look great, I love the trees! And the shell

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  6. I've gone through the real clay stage with pots and the real jewellery bit with sheet silver, this is a cross of the two and is quite good.

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