Friday, 28 November 2008

BronzClay refired

An update to my previous post about the BronzClay which came out brittle after firing in my class.

I refired all the pieces, together with three sample pieces of my own. One was put in wet (yes, it works absolutely fine!), two of the same size and shape was put in dry.

The intention was to remove one of the two whilst red-hot to compare the strength against the one that was allowed to cool off in the charcoal. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking at all when I put the pieces in - my kiln finished the firing at about 4am, whilst I was still tucked up fast asleep. Duh.

Anyway, my test pieces came out beatifully and strong. I usually try to break the sample pieces after firing, using pliers, and they survived the test.

I didn't want to test any of the students pieces (just in case - I can't really send back broken student pieces, can I?) so I will have to wait for feedback from them. From the look and sound of the pieces I would be as bold as to say that it actually looks like re-firing did the trick. The pieces look just as they should, and they have the lovely clear singing bronze sound. I'll let you know as soon as I have some feedback.

But judging from this, I would definitely recommend you let your pieces cool off in the charcoal. Don't even think about removing them whilst the charcoal is still red-hot.

Want to see what they looked like before, and what they look like now? I know the "before" image isn't very good, but you can still see the very "dead", dark, and dull surface of the bronze. It was a huge difference after re-firing.

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