so here we are again , and heres my desk for this week
so i’m at the ‘hot desk’ this week, which is actually a tiny corner of my kitchen i stole for doing anything to do with high temperatures and flames. My ‘cold desk’ is really unsuitable for this type of work as it is in a corner of my bed room, which is constantly overheated due to the fact that its on the south side of the house, and no matter how wide you open the windows – there is still no air in there- it doesn’t really help that its a really dark corner, so lots of lamps result in lots of extra heat, and i’m usually suffocating in there – even in the depths of winter – roll on the days when i can afford an actual studio – with proper air conditioning. Anyway do you remember these? –
so, thanks to all your kind words of encouragement, i’ve got brave enough to dig out my kiln. My plan was to fire off the metal clay pieces and have them on some finished jewellery pieces by now – should of known not to plan!!!
The clays are bronze and white bronze, they need two stages to fire properly, according to the instructions i had the first stage is open shelve firing at 500°c for 10mins. this is supposed to burn off the binding materials in the clay, i was expecting some smoke and a red glow, but they didn’t appear – this should of been my first clue that things were not going to go my way!!!
The second stage apparently needs an oxygen free environment to ‘sinter’ properly, but because my kiln is a ‘baby’ i was unable to get hold of any firing pan small enough to fit in it, i thought i’d try to improvise with some tins- so i cleaned them up and removed labels, but in my haste forgot to remove glues -which of corse set on fire when they went in the kiln – i quest i got all the smoke i could handle and more – just not when i wanted it!!!
O.K., – ‘no biggy’ – don’t let that put you off coz i put the fire out really quickly, no damages done, – only to my artistic ego – who’s apparently having a bad day!!.
so i did some research on you-tube to find someone firing bronze clay on the open shelve – so i followed along with what they were doing – seems these clays are going to be some what of an experiment anyway! so didn’t see any harm in trying, – still not getting the results i’m looking for. the pieces tried to polish up an look a little like metal, there brittle and the smaller pieces flake of – not what i’m looking for.
My thoughts are that this kiln isn’t getting to the temperature it says it is, it barely produces any heat below 500°c , and only just starts a faint red glow at 630°c – its not what i was expecting from a kiln – i would love to here from anyone using the same model to know if this was normal behaviour.
I’ve now managed to find a suitable container for oxygen-free environments at cooksongold (I’ve provided the link incase anyone else is having similar issues), this is now on order and i’m awaiting its delivery. I’ve been doing some experiments on open self firing the white bronze at some higher temperatures, whilst I’m waiting, and did manage to get one piece that slightly resembled metal – so i think i need to find some way of establishing my kilns temperature- i know that you can get testing cones for larger kilns – but not sure where to get these in the uk, or if they would come in a size that would fit inside this kiln – if anybody knows anything that could clue me up id appreciate hearing from you.
Hope everybody else is having a better week than i am, don’t forget to check the other desks via the stamping ground,
ta ta for now,
love and cyber hugs
c u soon