Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pendant Project 2

Hello again,
here are some pics of sanding and firing metal clay.
I use small bits and drill by hand, a hole in dry bone clay. Using gentle pressure, turn the bits round and round so the point drills into the clay until it goes right through. Be careful it is very fragile.
  Make it bigger with bigger bits or, as you see, I have round files. Drill slwoly with the point.
Now is the most important part, sanding and finishing. Refines the edges with sand paper, needle files. Sand the surface fine too. It is much easier to finish bone dry clay than fully metal, so it is worth spending extra time to perfect the finish at this tage.
I don't have killn. That's why I took Low Fire Art Clay, can be fired with Torch.
Set the clay on a heatable tile or something fireproof surface. Turn the light off, important to see when you stop firing.  Light the torch, point it towards to the clay about 3/4" from the work. While holding the flame, move the torch slowly around in circular motion. Heating it until it starts to glow red. Continue heating til it becomes a bright and luminous color. Hold this color for 2 minutes, if it starts to bubble pull the flame away. It means you are too close. When the time is up, turn off the flame and allow the clay to cool.
Once the clay has been fired, you'll find the surface is white color. Take it under water and rub with messing brush. The silver color comes out soon. Bring it out from water and use some polishing paper to have more shine and bright. I started with 400-grit, 600 then 1200-grit. In the end you can use polishing cloth for mirror finish surface.
I hope I give you a bit clue, how fun playing with metal clay. Some good links to learn metal clay:

xx Dian

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