Friday, August 26, 2011

Busted A-holes (and dreams to boot!)

It seems this second stint of workshops with Pam has been full of patience testing lessons!

A combination of clay that was a little too thin and a bezels that were pushed in a 
little too far...saw these pieces that when placed in the kiln were filled with 
potential and promises of beauty, emerge from the kiln with busted bums and less 
than desirable undercarriages!

Apparently I can attempt to fix these by covering them with wet clay, letting it 
dry and then re-fire them....but that, I think, can wait for another time when 
I am a little less swamped with disappointment and can rekindle a bit more Enthusiasm.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Teflon coat me!

Check this little baby! A teflon work mat. 

So no need to worry about always oiling or over-oiling your work surface, 
this little sucker is non-stick!

But dont cut on me!

Its a bit hard to see in this pic but with in seconds i buggered my mat
by cutting on it! Good work McKenzie! Luckily the matt has two sides...imagine that!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Not all silver is created equal!

I recently got asked 'what is the difference between fine silver and sterling silver?'

Silver metal clay is Fine silver! 

Fine Silver is pure silver (0.999 or 99.9% pure). Sterling silver is 92.5% silver, to which other metals, primarily copper is added. These added metals make the sterling harder than fine silver. The added metals mean that sterling silver tarnishes faster than fine silver.

Sterling silver needs to be fired at a lower temp than fine silver otherwise the copper oxidises making the fired pieces fragile. So if you are adding sterling silver findings to your pieces you need to be sure to fire them at a lower temp. 

I will soon be looking into the kiln firing process for silver clay and sterling silver, so once I have half a clue I'll fill you all in.

As always if anyone has any handy tips or info re: firing silver clay...please feel free to share your comments!