Over the past few weeks, I've had more firing frustrations with the bronze clay. What I'm finding the most frustrating is that when using a firing method that has worked flawlessly, all of a sudden does not work. My last couple batches of bronze clay have not sintered properly. I first thought that it may be time for a carbon change (your carbon needs to be replaced every 12 or so firings). I changed the carbon, prefired it, and the second batch also did not sinter. hmmmm.... So batch 3, thinking it would also not sinter - of course, this batch fired just fine. While this is all interesting to experiment with, it does create problems for those of us who want to do some production work.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to try to run regular blog posts about my metal clay experiments. Detailing as much as I can about the whole process. Hopefully, this will help those of you struggling with firing problems, and will also serve as a reference for myself. What was done exactly to potentially cause a success (we hope!) or failures.
You may be asking why on earth I continue using it, if it's causing me so much grief...Well, I love it. It's quite simple - I love the colour, the texture, the freedom to make larger pieces. And as much as I seem to love complaining about it- I find each and every technical glitch an exciting problem to be solved. I suppose if it worked perfectly, I'd be bored and would have moved on already :-)
I wanted to also take this opportunity to pass on a link that may be off interest to those of you who want to make their own textures. I found this in the Jewelry Artist archives:
Have fun! - Tear Away techniques for texture