If you read that blog, sorry for the duplication, but if not, a couple of weeks ago, I experimented with some PMC3? I shared with you that working with metal clay had been a big "want to do" on my art bucket list! I had fun playing and really liked the outcome, but I will be honest with you, the price of the silver clay and the limitations were a huge drawback. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but after looking at the 2 little pairs of charms, plus the very small amount of raw clay I had left out of a 16g package, I realized that if I was going to go further with this dream, I had to rethink some things.
After a lot of research, discussions with my sweet hubby, advice from my awesome, talented, knowledgeable, patient and giving teammates at AJE, I decided to purchase a kiln! Yes! Jumping up and down, clapping hands!
|Here she is! A Paragon Caldera...perfect for metal clay, ceramics, glass fusing, and more!|
I jumped right in and bought some 3 types of metal clay...Copper, White Copper and Bronze. I found out later that I should have probably opted for FastFire Bronze, but that will have to be another day! After reading all the firing instructions, I decided that the copper was the most straightforward so chose to work with that first. I'm glad I played with the PMC3 before...this was similar, but not quite as finicky, and since I was able to afford much more of it, I wasn't so scared to mess up.
I was happy to see that a lot of the tools and texturing materials I had been collecting for my polymer clay worked perfectly with the metal clay as well! I have a running list of things that I know I will be going back and getting.
|My 1st batch...they haven't dried yet.|
After a successful test, and cleanup of my dried pieces, I loaded my new kiln for the first time. By this time it was late, so I set my alarm to get up and check on it several times! This morning, I opened it and found my treasure! It was a bit sad to see my shiny new firing pan was now black and ugly, but I knew that was going to happen. I found a slotted spoon and started sifting for the buried treasure!
Another thing I knew would happen, but maybe not quite so much was how much shrinkage happened. The little squares and circles came out really tiny! I need to remember to compensate for that more in the future!
|My pieces right out of the charcoal, before cleanup!|
|Here they are, cleaned up with a brass brush.|