Smart Bronze is Now Available

Hollow ring with inset natural garnet and sapphire

Hollow ring with inset natural garnet and sapphire

Half round ring with inset CZ

Hollow ring with tourmaline

Hollow ring with tourmaline

Smart Bronze is now available on our online store. This new variety of Hadar’s Clay can be fired in a single phase and has a color very close to 24K gold. Please see photos in my blog posting from last week.

Here is the firing schedule for Smart Bronze:

Brick kiln: ramp at 1400°F/778°C per hour to 1440°F/782°C. Hold 2 hours.
Muffle kiln: Ramp at 1400°F/778°C per hour to 1490°F/810°C. Hold 2 hours.

All other firing instructions, such as firing vessel, carbon, etc,, are the same as for the rest of Hadar’s Clays and can be found in the instruction manual on the right panel of this blog.

The ramp time makes sure that the kiln takes at least one hour to reach the hold temperature. Some kilns ramp very slowly and may not need to ramp at less than full speed. I suggest that you set up your kiln to the hold temperature at full speed and see how long it takes. If it takes about an hour, adjust your schedule to full speed. If it takes less than one hour, experiment with slowing the ramp until you reach the speed that will take one hour.

As with all other clays, make test pieces before firing actual pieces of jewelry to find the correct hold temperature for your kiln. Make a few pieces, 6-8 cards thick, and fire. If they blister, drop the temperature by 5°F/2°C. If they look smooth, sand them with course sandpaper. If the surface becomes metallic with no traces of powder, the piece is sintered and temperature is fine.

Shrinkage: Flat pieces shrink by 23.5%. Rings shrink 2½ sizes.

Here is a photo comparing the color of Smart Bronze to Brilliant Bronze. Smart Bronze is the “bean” on the right.

The last page of the instruction manual has been updated to include the firing schedule. The rest of the manual will be updated once the compatibility of Smart Bronze with other metals will be tested. However, this is not a priority; the unique color of Smart Bronze, as well as Brilliant Bronze, shows best when it is fired on its own, not in combination with other colors. The simple firing schedule makes it a good choice for beginners and teachers who study and teach the basics of metal clay.

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