Yes, torch firing - it works, and it works fabulously! Today was our metal clay play day, I got a chance to meet two of our customers that I had only 'met' online before. Carol, and Jan - It was so nice to meet you today.
We tried out a couple of test packages of the new Art Clay World version of the copper clay. I made a bunch of simple little components to be used in jewellery, as I specifically wanted to torch fire - but I wasn't sure how large they could be. I only had one failure out of the lot, and that was user error on my part by not firing long enough. I found the perfect length of time to be 4 minutes.
Once I got those little components out of the way, I decided to make a hollow lentil shaped bead. After it was dry, I decided to try torch firing it to see what would happen. It was probably pushing the limits of the size maximum for torch firing - but it worked like a charm! The shape stayed true, and it sintered fully.
We're really excited about the possibilities of this new clay. We've got a batch coming in for sale within the next weeks!
Heather was kind enough to send me some pics to post on the blog. I didn't get a chance to take any today.
Heather's birdhouse - This has been fired but not yet pickled (pickle is an acid that removes the oxidation (the black stuff))
Torch firing Art Clay Copper
Immediately after torch firing, your piece is quenched in water. The quick cooling removes a layer of the oxidation, which you can see in the bottom of this bowl.
Here's another piece that has not yet been pickled.
Shrinkage - the smaller one has been fired, and the larger piece is still in clay form.
Tomorrow, I'll post some pics of a few pieces I did that have been pickled. The colour is quite pretty!