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

16 Responses to “Instruction Manual Updated – June 2011”

  • Marlynda Taylor Says:

    Thanks again for the great class in Dallas, but most especially for your continued dedication to searching for the best though sometimes elusive solutions for firing base metal clays. I so appreciate your generosity in sharing what you discover in such an open and candid way.
    Marlynda

  • Linda Says:

    Great revision of the instructions! Very clear, concise and orderly. Much appreciated.

  • Beckie Walker Says:

    Thank you, Hadar, for all of the work that you put into your work. I’m amazed that with your busy schedule you actually find the time to update and print such a valuable e-book for all of your customers. Just want you to know how much you are appreciated! 🙂

  • Pamela Pollock Says:

    Thank you Hadar! I just reread the earlier version today as my kiln arrived (clamshell Jewelry Artist kiln manufactured by Olympic via Cool Tools) and I am about to embark on using the base metal clays as well. I am a bit intimidated working on my own so your manual will really help me in conjunction with all of your books in my library. Someday maybe I can meet you and do a workshop! Just reading over the above blog post I can tell that some of my latest questions are going to be answered.

  • Sharon Gillespie Says:

    Haven’t enjoyed a class this much in a long time. Thanks for coming to Dallas. I would do it all over again.

  • Marty Says:

    Very helpful!!!! Thanks for all your research and making my creativity easier to attain. Can’t wait to get your new book.

  • Donna Penoyer Says:

    Hadar, as always, you totally rock! Thanks for your tireless work. Your contributions to the world of metal clay are huge.
    Looking forward to seeing you this fall.

  • ann schneider Says:

    Thank you Hadar! You are so consistent in finding new ways and additions to your instructions to make working with metal clays so much more accurate as to our results. I appreciate all you do!
    ann

  • Cindy Pope Says:

    Hadar,

    I just finished going through the new manual and I must say I think it is awesome. While all the additions and reorganization are great my favorite is the addition of the following comment:

    “Good carbon for sintering purposes does not produce a lot of ash and does not stay
    hot a long time after firing.”

    I have been working on a temperature testing kit to sell in my online store in order to help with temperature side of the time, temp, carbon interaction for sucessful sintering. Your comment about the carbon seems so simple but so important and has been my exact experience. Having found the right carbon and figuring out my kiln’s true temperature all with your kind help has made my creative process so much easier.

    Thank you again for all your help.

    Warmest Regards,

    Cindy

  • Cindy Pope Says:

    Hadar,

    A quick question regarding page 11 of the new manual. It mentions burnishing pearl gray steel. Is this just when it is combined with other metals or when it is fired alone.

    I couldn’t find in mentioned anywhere else in the blog so I wanted to double check.

    Thanks so much

    Cindy

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Cindy,
    It applies mainly to combination of metals. However, burnishing any metal with a smooth surface before firing reduces the amount of sanding that you have to do after firing.

  • Cindy pope Says:

    Thanks Hadar.

    I do try to finish as much as possible in the green wear stage and it really does seem to cut down on the finishing work. I am thinkin about a cool (hopefully) piece with the new caning method using pearl grey steel and I wanted to be sure I understood.

    Another quick question. When I am combining PGS copper and bronze can I extend the 2 phase firing time to 4 hours to ensure full sintering or the copper and PGS or to I need to use 2 separate 2 hour phases? I wasn’t sure if a second ramp up from room temperature is important. On my first caning project I actually used 3 hours and everything seemed well sintered, although my bronze was a bit sunken in so I think I should scale back the temps even a bit more.

    Thanks again for the book it is lots of fun.

    Cindy

  • Hadar Jaobson Says:

    Cindy,

    From my experience longer firing is not as effective as repeating the second phase. Sometime pieces like that sinter without repeating the second phase. The bronze is sunken because it shrinks more than copper at this temperature. You can make the surface flush again by sanding the surface with a course sanding drum (120 grit).

  • Donnalene Says:

    Hi Hadar,
    I have been doing test pieces in my kiln and have found they are over firing. Should I be removing them immediately after the time is up in both the first and second phases and cool that way? I have been doing overnight firing so in the second phase the pieces are left to cool down in the kiln. Or could it be that my kiln is too hot? I just did a steel piece which cracked and started to blister and my second phase was at 1785.
    Thanks,
    Donnalene

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Donnalene, If this is carbon steel that you are talking about (not Pearl Grey), then it seems that your kiln is firing too hot. Try lowering the temperature. There is no need to take pieces out of the kiln right after firing, unless your kiln stays hot for a long time after it’s done. In that case it will keep burning the carbon and your pieces will get oxidized.

  • Donnalene Says:

    Thanks Hadar. I will try more pieces this week and drop the temperature again. It was the carbon steel. Definitely takes practice getting to know your kiln!
    Donnalene

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