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