Jan 20 2014

Champagne Bronze and Steel

One thing that was impossible to do before the One-fire Trio is to fire bronze and steel together to get the amazing contrast between black and gold colors. Here is a project for this combination, which is now easy thanks to the One-fire Trio. The clays I used are Champagne Bronze and Low-shrinkage Steel XT.

Pendant

And here are a few photos of other pieces I have made with this combination.

Circles

Windows

Bird and sun

Fold

Starry Night

Wrapped

Four-piece Necklace

Wird

Earrings 1

Earrings 2

Earrings 3


Jan 14 2014

One-fire Trio Follow-up

In the past weeks I’ve been going through my books, making old projects with the new Trio. Everything is so easy and fast now – one short firing, no compatibility issues. I hope you’ve had a chance to play with the One-fire Trio, starting with the beginners projects I posted last week. If you are out of ideas and would like to experiment some more, here are a few suggestions:

Changing Places

Changing Places

Changing Places

The instructions for making pieces like this (a technique I call “Changing Places”) can be found in the book: The Handbook of Metal Clay: Textures and Forms (2nd edition), pp. 21-26.

Keep in mind: it’s best to make backing layers out of steel, 6-8 cards thick. It will hardly add any weight to the pieces, since steel is so light. This does not apply to pieces where the steel is used in just small amounts:

Bird

The bird in the photo above is colored with Super Blue Patina.

The Trio doesn’t work so well for mokume-gane, or wherever a high contrast is required. The reason is that steel does not react with Baldwin’s Patina when fired at the high temperature required for the Trio. Super Blue Patina will darken all metals, not only steel.

Hollow Form

Hollow Form

The core of the two hollow forms above is made with Champagne Bronze, since it has the highest shrinkage rate.

Skyline

I am making now pieces made out just of Steel and Champagne Bronze. Next posting will include a project and some photos.

Bird


Jan 3 2014

Hadar’s Clay™ Champagne Bronze and Friendly Copper are Now Available

Champagne Bronze and Friendly Copper are new, easy-to-fire clays, suitable for both beginners and experienced users of metal clay. They fire in one phase only, with no pre-firing or test-firing, and no issues of under-firing or over-firing. They are now available for sale on our online store.

When fired on its own, Champagne Bronze has a champagne color. Friendly Copper has the same color as Quick-fire copper.

Trillion

Windows

Ring

A separate, 4-page Instruction Manual for Champagne Bronze
and Friendly Copper
is now available for download. It can also be accessed from the right-hand pane of this blog.

The documents Cheat Sheet for Hadar’s Clay, Map of Hadar’s Clay, and Shrinkage Chart have been updated.

For mixed-metal enthusiasts, Champagne Bronze and Friendly Copper make it easy to create mixed metal pieces consisting of two or three metals. They combine with each other and with Low-shrinkage Steel XT to create a fascinating color combination. The color contrast shows immediately when the surface is buffed with a coarse buffing wheel. There is no need to enhance the colors with patina.

Pendant 1

Pendant 2

Pendant 3

Pendant 4

Champagne Bronze and Low-shrinkage Steel XT

The firing schedule for each of the three clays and all of them combined in one piece is the same: 2 hours at 1750°F/955°C (brick kiln) or 1830°F/999°C (muffle kiln). Those of you who own the SpeedFire ElectricMini 1800 Kiln can safely fire for 2 hours on #10 on the SpeedFire® Temperature Control (#9 for Champagne Bronze on its own).

To get started, here are two beginners’ projects for pieces combining the three clays.

Project 1 - Overlay

Project 2 - Changing Places


Jan 1 2014

New Year’s Day Serendipity

In the process of testing the new clays with every possible technique, I was making hollow forms in preparation for a workshop I am about to teach in February. I made four pieces from Champagne Bronze, Friendly Copper, and Low-shrinkage Steel XT and fired them last night.

In the past, firing these kinds of pieces took a long time, some repair and re-firing were required, and the finishing process was challenging. Last night firing took 2:45 hours (45 minutes ramping, 2 hours hold). This morning I found all four pieces intact, without a crack. The surface was smooth, as if there was no difference in the shrinkage of the metals. And, except for the rock, which I sanded, the finishing process consisted of just buffing with a buffing wheel. Two minutes a piece.

Flat hollow form

Trillion lentil

Pillow

Rock

We are stocking up. I’ll announce the release date on Friday. I hope this will make your New Year happy!