Jun 25 2011

One Correction and Interesting News

There was a typo in the updated Instruction Manual, page 24, which has now been corrected. In schedule C, the hold temperature for the first phase for brick kiln is 1000°F/538°C. Please correct this on your printed page, or re-print that page.

As for the news: soon after my fourth book is released, I will also be releasing some new products, which may introduce further changes to the Instruction Manual. I am pretty excited about these latest developments. It seems to me that they will significantly expand our range of possibilities. The testing phase is almost over, and I hope that we can use these products in my upcoming workshops in Philadelphia (please don’t contact Holly; the workshop is full), at Studio 34 Creative Arts in Rochester, NY, and later in Massachusetts (details to be announced).

The photos above have something to do with the new products. On another note, a project of mine for the earrings above made in copper and sterling silver clays is about to be published in the next issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine.

Cross your fingers, almost there!

Jun 23 2011

Instruction Manual Updated – June 2011

The instruction manual for Hadar’s Clay™ has been updated. Please download the new version (marked June 2011 on the title page). It is somewhat shorter because I’ve been trying to make it more user-friendly and eliminate repetition, as well as to save paper. The font and the photos are a little smaller, so if you need to see them in detail, you can always enlarge them on the screen. Please regard this manual as your free e-book, and a companion to all my printed books.

Also note that most of the information included in the manual – especially firing schedules – applies to all currently existing brands of metal clay. The manual now also includes firing schedule for Rose Bronze and mokume-gane from copper and silver.

The manual includes information regarding:

  • The carbon (“What do we expect a good carbon to be?”)
  • The firing box – advantages and disadvantages of different boxes
  • The firing process, step-by-step
  • How to do a simple test to find the firing schedule for your kiln
  • Compatibility chart (“What metal clays can be fired together in one piece and with what schedule?”)
  • How to talk to your kiln (programing instructions)
  • Checklist (“What did I do wrong?”)
  • Quick reference table for firing schedules (“Just give it to me in a nutshell”)
  • Suggested kiln programming (“Just tell me what button to push”)

All of these topics can be easily found through the table of contents.

The part about making test pieces is more elaborate now and accompanied by photos. It is meant to help you make your kiln work for you, no matter what type it is. It will also help you judge whether your pieces are over-fired or under-fired (not sintered).

You may notice that I now refer to brick kilns vs. muffle kilns (regardless of the location of the door). After firing in lots of kilns while travel-teaching over the past two years, I’ve concluded that the location of the door (top vs. front) has less effect on the firing temperature than the material from which the kilns are made.

I’ve also found out than if you use a circular firing box, pieces positioned near the door in a front loader are most likely to sinter just fine.

The compatibility chart shows photos of mixed metal pieces, illustrating which metal clays can be combined in one piece and how. It consists of two parts: A. metal clays that can be fired together in one (2-phase) firing, and B. metal clays that require firing one or two metals first, and adding other metals at a second firing (both 2-phase). It now includes the firing schedule for mokume-gane pieces from copper and silver.

Suggested programing shows how you can program your kiln to fire all clays, including silver, using only 4 programs:

  • Program 1 – burning the binder (first phase) in all base metal clays
  • Program 2 – sintering (second phase) bronze, Rose Bronze, mixed pieces of bronze/copper/Pearl Grey Steel. This program applies to silver as well: silver pieces can be actually fired at the same time, at the bottom of the kiln chamber.
  • Program 3 – sintering (second phase) White Bronze
  • Program 4 – sintering (second phase) copper alone, and Pearl Grey steel alone

Jun 9 2011

My Fourth Book is Available for Pre-order

Patterns of Color in Metal Clay

My book Patterns of Color in Metal Clay: Canes, Gradients, Mokume-Gane is about to come out in July and is now available for pre-order on my online store.

For a full description please download this excerpt, which contains the introduction (“How to Read This Book”) and the Table of Contents.