Saturday, July 23, 2011
Bronze urn-lessons learned
The more I learned about bronzclay and having to fire it embedded in carbon the more intimidated by the process I became. A two step firing process? yikes.
And then to add to that the fragile state the pieces would be in during transfer to the carbon.
And then all of my failed attempts at making good quality slip.
Well I just didn't go there. Until this past week.
I got ballsy with my bronze!
I put some in a syringe.
I made slip.
I did a burn out firing.
I completely messed it up, and learned soooo much!
• don't bother with essential oils and clay, to make slip just use water and a truly air tight container. The oil goes funky--I have a small pot of almost slip, and its funky smelling, and its oxidized, the slip in the water, no oxidation.
• the syringe is a b*0tch if there is too much air in it. It doesnt flow as easily as clay in a syringe. Make it goey-er and more slip like for the syringe.
• two phase burn out, not so intimidating. It needs to burn out at 900° for about an hour. In my case I still had to scoop out the cork, so next time Im going for a longer burn. And dont freak out by all the black on the piece, it fully sinters to a lovely color.
• Steel mesh is a must for open vessels. I think one of the reasons my urn broke so much was how much carbon got into it before it shrank.
• and Bronzclay really wants to be thicker. This urn would have been fine in silver form, but it was too delicate for the bronze, broken vines and such would be better if thicker.
I can't wait to make some more and try again!