Aug 4 2015

One-fire Flex Clay Is Now Available

Four types of One-fire Flex Clay are now available on my Online Store: One-fire Flex Copper, Brilliant Bronze, Dark Champagne Bronze, and Low-shrinkage Steel XT. More types of One-fire Flex Clay will be available down the road.

Be sure to read the instruction manual, go over the projects, and watch the videoHow Flexible is One-fire Flex Clay?“.

One great application of One-fire Flex Clay is carving and engraving. When handling thick pieces the clay is not flexible but very soft and lends itself tp both engraving and structural carving. Cuts like butter! The engraving was easy and fast. Here are two extruded pieces:

t-Oval with flowers


Jul 28 2015

One-fire Flex Clay Follow-up: Projects and Video

As promised in my last posting: “What Other Things Can Be Done with One-fire Flex Clay?“, I’ve prepared projects for some of the pieces featured in the posting.

The Instruction Manual for One-fire Clays now includes two pages dedicated to One-fire Flex (pp. 7-8). Please download this updated version.

Also, here is a little video showing how flexible the new One-fire Flex clay is:


Jul 20 2015

What Other Things Can Be Done With the New One-fire Flex Clay?

This question has been asked quite frequently. Indeed, many things can be done with the One-fire Flex clay without using the Silhouette machine. I’ve been working with it quite a bit using punches, trimming scissors, embossing folders, and mostly – simple hand tools for etching, cutting and texturing. I re-made some pieces I’ve made in the past and discovered new, easier techniques for making them. Here is what I’ve done in the past week. Still working, more to come! Projects will be posted with the launch of the new clay!


Jul 11 2015

Same Products – New Names

While developing the new line of One-fire Flex Clays, we decided to simplify the user interface for both our online store and our blog. The clays are now organized in groups according to their type and firing schedules. The instruction manuals are now down to three short ones: one for One-fire Clays (including the new line of Flex clays), a second for Quick-fire Clays (including Traditional/Flex clays), and a third for cold inlay powders. Each product on the store includes a description with a direct link to its respective instruction manual.

While re-organizing the store we also changed some of the products’ names. This, too, is meant to simplify things. The changes are in the One-fire category only: all clays that use a one-phase firing schedule now start with the name “One-fire” instead of “Friendly.” For your convenience, we have also created a table that lists the products whose names have changed, showing the old names and the the new ones. Please refer to the document entitled “Map of Hadar’s Clay™ Products” to see the changes and the table. (This document is also available on the right-hand pane of this blog.)


Jul 10 2015

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Jul 8 2015

New Arrival Coming to the One-fire Flex Group

Meet One-fire Flex Low-shrinkage Steel XT:

Why do we need this one, since we already have Pearl Grey Steel?

Pearl Grey Steel shrinks much more than other clays. Here is how much it shrinks compared to copper:

This makes it hard to fire it with other clays, since the difference in shrinkage will cause the whole piece to warp. Hammering flat is not an option since Pearl Grey Steel is very hard.

Low-shrinkage Steel XT (both One-fire and One-fire Flex) shrinks very little, which makes it a good candidate for combining with other metals.

Below is the same piece with the bird blackened with patina (I sure got a lot of mileage out of this bird punch).

The piece came out a tiny bit warped. Since Low-shrinkage Steel XT is not as hard as Pearl Grey Steel, it hammered flat easily with a blow of a plastic hammer, no cracking.

This brings the number of the One-fire Flex Clays to a total of nine. They will be released in groups, one group at a time. The first group will include Dark Champagne, Brilliant Bronze, Copper, and Low-shrinkage Steel XT.


Jul 1 2015

Making Progress – One-Fire Flex Clay for the SILie

Partial selection

t-PG 1

Copper overlay on Brilliant Bronze


Jun 25 2015

One Link at a Time

t-Link

t-Becelet


Jun 13 2015

One-fire Flexible Clay, no glycerin, for the Silhouette Machine

Silhouette machine people, how about a new line of One-Fire clay designed especially for the machine, no glycerin required?


Mar 22 2015

New Ways of Working with White Bronze

White Bronze combines beautifully with other metal clays. Because of its low firing temperature I used to think that in order to do this, you had to fire the other metal first, then add White Bronze using a mechanical connection, and re-fire at the lower temperature. For example:

Bronze ring

Drum earrings

In the two pieces above (the ring is Friendly Brilliant Bronze and the earrings are Friendly Copper), the White Bronze is connected to itself around a tube. This is a mechanical connection and it is hard to tell if the White Bronze is actually fused to the other metals.

Recent experiments show that it actually is fused to them. The result is strong, non-brittle pieces, with two strong advantages:

  1. It’s hard to distinguish White Bronze color from silver
  2. White Bronze tarnishes less than any other metal, including silver

I fired pieces of bronze and copper first and just placed a layer of unfired White Bronze on top of each, with no mechanical connection. I always thought that there wasn’t enough pressure to make these two layers fuse. I was proven wrong! Here are some examples:

Full overlay of of White Bronze on Friendly Brilliant Bronze:

White Bronze on Friendly Bronze

Full overlay of White Bronze over Friendly Copper:

White Bronze over Friendly Copper

Partial overlay of White Bronze on Friendly Copper:

White Bronze on Friendly Copper

In the following example only the White Bronze shows on the front of the piece; the backing is Friendly Brilliant Bronze:

What about hollow forms? This pendant and donut were constructed with Friendly Brilliant Bronze. The fired pieces were fired and covered with White Bronze, then fired again.

Donut

And these earring are two-sided; only one side was covered with White Bronze:

So far, applying White Bronze to another metal with no mechanical connection works with all other clays except for steels (these will require a mechanical connection.

The Process

  1. The backing layer (in a flat piece) or the core (in a hollow form) is 3-cards thick.
  2. Fire the pieces to the maximum temperature required for the specific clay. If distortion occurs, hammer or bend the pieces into shape.
  3. Add a 3-card layer of White Bronze. Make sure the White Bronze is connected to the fired metal at every point of its surface area.
  4. This is important: Let the the White Bronze overlay dry naturally or it will come off the backing layer. If you need to remove it in order to file or sand holes, as in the earrings shown above, wet the back of the overlay and press it into the backing layer. Then let it dry naturally. The White Bronze layer should be well bonded with the backing layer before going into the kiln.
  5. Fire for 2 hours at 1330°F in a brick kiln, 1380°F in a muffle kiln.

(True, this temperature is way higher than the firing temperature of White Bronze alone. However, bear in mind that the first metal used acts like a heat sink; it draws the heat away from the White Bronze, and this is why it is not over-fired.)

A few more interesting results:

Folded

The core of this hollow form is Friendly Brilliant Bronze. Two sides of the forms are covered with White Bronze, and the third side with a mokume gane layer of White Bronze and Pearl Grey Steel. It seems that this tricky combination is facilitated by the bronze backing.

Solid

And this one is still experimental: it is a solid piece of mokume gane made with Friendly Copper and White Bronze, with no backing layer or core.