Jun 18 2010

Pearl Grey Steel Clay is Now Available

t-Mountain

Pearl Grey Steel is now available for sale from my online store.

The instruction manual is posted in the right-hand pane of this blog, along with the other manuals, as well as on the product page within the online store, linked above.

How is Pearl Grey Steel different from the regular steel clay?

The Pearl Grey Steel metal powder is silver-gray in color. It is very pliable and soft, and does not become grainy after being stored in the refrigerator, even after many weeks. It also leaves your hands clean.

The firing is done in one phase. The firing temperature is the same, but the ramp is slower. The firing requires holding at 1000°F/538°C for between 30 minutes and 1 hour before continuing to the sintering temperature. Firing time is less than 4 hours.

The fired clay lends itself to sanding and smoothing, which results in a pearl-gray color. Like White Bronze, it is not flexible and should not be bent or hammered.

Pearl Grey Steel is compatible with copper, bronze, and White Bronze. It can be fired with copper in the same piece. Sometimes a bronze-color halo is created at the border between the two metals, as shown in the photo above.

To combine Pearl Grey Steel with bronze and White Bronze, the steel has to be fired first.

To see more photos of Pearl Grey Steel jewelry, please see this posting.

I hope you enjoy it.


Jun 12 2010

Additions and Corrections to My Travel-Teaching Schedule

The file “Hadar’s Travel-teaching Schedule,” available on the right-hand pane of this blog, has been updated.

First, a correction: The workshop in Rochester, NY, is actually two workshops, back-to-back: September 30-October 1, and October 1-2. The workshops take place at Studio 34 Creative Arts Center and Gallyer. You can take one or both workshops, since there is a lot of material to be covered. Recently developed techniques of “caning” and “mokume-gane” in metal clay will be presented. If you read this posting through, you can see photos of pieces made using these techniques.

A workshop has been added to this year’s schedule, on November 15-16 at Amado Territory Ranch, 30 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. Please contact www.exPRESSiveArtsStudio.com. This workshop will be entirely dedicated to “caning” and “mokume-gane” techniques, and on applying them to hollow forms. Some firing may be done for demonstration, but the class will focus on learning as many of these techniques as possible. Students will be expected to arrange for their own firing after the workshop. At this workshop I hope to meet up once again with students who took my workshop in Phoenix. The Amado Territory Ranch workshop is, in a way, a further step toward more advanced techniques.

So is a very similar advanced workshop that will take place in Los Angeles in February 2011, probably on Presidents’ Day weekend. It will take place again with the Local PMC Guild chapter. I will post the dates and contact information soon.

Another such advanced workshop will take place at Brighton Beads, Brighton, MI, on June 15-16, 2011. Immediately after this workshop, on June 18-19, I will be teaching In Saint Joseph, MI, at Krasl Art Center. This workshop will focus on making hollow forms and, for people who take the class at Brighton Beads, the application of caning and “mokume-gane” designs to hollow forms.

About the Structure of the New Workshops

In the course of nearly a year of intense travel-teaching I have been firing in many types of kilns. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have learned that no kiln is predictable and there is no way to guarantee firing results without testing individual kilns. These workshops are usually big, and many kilns are required. Based on all of this, I’ve decided that for workshops that are added now and in the future, I will fire only for demonstration purposes, and will dedicate most of the time to teaching more techniques and making more pieces. You can fire your pieces, or have them fired for you, after the workshop. This will make it possible for me to devote my attention to you rather than to loading, watching, and unloading kilns.

Unless I am asked to make changes, workshops that have already been scheduled will be conducted as advertised.

“Caning” and “Mokume-gane”

Why the quotation marks? Because the techniques I apply produce a similar effect to those of caning and mokume-gane as they are used in metalsmithing, polymer clay, and glass millefiori, but are not necessarily produced using the same methods as in those mediums. I must thank here Jen Tattam for planting the idea for these techniques in my head while experimenting at a workshop in Australia.

Two photos of these techniques were included in a previous posting. Those were made with three metals – copper, bronze, and White Bronze. Here are some more with copper and bronze:

t-Mokume 1

t-Mokume 4

t-Patch circle

t-Mokume 3

t-Caning

t-Sqaure and circle

t-Sphere 1

t-slump


Jun 7 2010

Three Metals, One Firing

It may be too early to get all excited, but this experiment has worked a few times now. I was surprised enough to discover that bronze and white bronze can be fired at the same time. I wasn’t too excited, though, since the contrast is not so sharp, and patina doesn’t make it any sharper.

So, I tried to fire all three metals together, copper, bronze, and White Bronze, with very little hope. I could not believe that copper could sinter at such a low temperature. Here are my results:

t-Mokume mixed

t-3-panel mixed

The center panels in these earrings are a combination of copper and White Bronze only.

t-Lentil

This one is a two-sided hollow form (lentil).

The firing temperature is the same as for White Bronze. I am not sure yet how long the firing should be, what the size and thickness limitations are, and how way the metals should be combined. I am almost sure the latter is an important factor.

The funny thing is that a test piece, all copper, sintered just fine.


Jun 4 2010

My First Book

My first book The Handbook of Metal Clay: Textures and Forms is now out of print. This book has been well received, and sold out pretty fast. It received good reviews — one reviewer even asked me never to stop printing it. However, instead of re-printing it as is, I’ve decided to revise and update it, to accommodate the changes that have taken place in the past 3 years.

I would love to include work that you have done that was inspired by the projects in this book. If you are interested, please send or email me high-resolution photos. As with my second and third book, I can’t promise that the photos will be included; it depends on the quality of the photo and the space available. The artwork can be in other metal clays, not just silver.

There is no deadline. I will publish the book as soon as soon as I finish revising, so please please don’t wait too long.