This is in response to comments by Dragonlady and Jenny on my previous posting.
Whether working in silver or copper, I myself am not a big fan of torch-firing for anything that might have a structural role in a jewelry piece. However, here is another suggestion for improving your results.
When we fire with a torch, we waste most of the heat on heating the air. You can build a “mini kiln” out of a firing surface and kiln posts.
The posts can be 2-3 inches tall, and, as you can see from the photo, they are arranged in a circular structure, leaving just one opening for the torch.
You can cover this structure with another firing surface, a tile, or a piece of fiber blanket.
I guess that lining the firing surface with carbon is even better, if you can manage to keep it in place.
Fiber blanket is an excelent heat insulator. Actually, you can replace this whole structure with a cylinder made out of fiber blanket.
The blanket is stitched with nickel-chromium wire, which resists very high temperatures. In fact, I use it to stitch my fiber blanket boxes, and make eyelets of it to insert into steel clay. Just Google “nichrome” or “nickel-chromium wire.”
Then seal the top of the cylinder with another piece of fiber blanket, and cut a hole for inserting the torch.
Again, lining the bottom with carbon can’t hurt. I’ll be glad to hear about your results.