Skip to main content

PMC Books & Tools For Sale!

Just before Christmas I decided to have a go at making some jewellery with copper clay. This medium fascinates me - I love the scope it gives you in shape, texture and design

I'd read that it was possible to fire copper clay with a torch which was great as I don't have a kiln. The distinct lack of definitive firing times for copper clay using a torch should have made me think about it a bit more! The brand I used recommended at least 7 minutes for small pieces......................


I tried and tried with my propane/butane mix torch to sucessfully fire my small and not very thick pieces to a fully sintered stage - where the clay has changed structure and become 100% copper. Up to 15 minutes plus on most pieces and did it work? No it did not! Being used to working with sheet copper and feeling slightly suspicious of the look of the fired and cleaned up clay pieces, I took my pliers to them and managed to snap every single piece quite easily, revealing a very thin layer of copper around the outside with the centre still very much in it's clay form! So disappointing! The thin copper layer tricks you into thinking the torch firing worked - the piece sounds metallic when you drop it into the pickle pot and looks like copper when you clean it up but attempt to bend it with some pliers and watch it snap! I contacted the manufacturer asking for some guidelines on firing times and was basically told what I already knew - fire for a minimum of 7 minutes, no other info at all. Very helpful! Firing them for longer may have worked but pointing a torch at a small piece of clay for 20 minutes plus is not time-effective, not very good for your health and would frankly drive me insane!

And the moral of this? Don't believe what the manufacturers tell you about torch firing copper clay - in my humble opinion it does not work. Correctly firing it in a kiln is the way to go!

Hence the reason I'm selling my pmc books and tools! Available in my eBay shop

 New Directions In Metal Clay by Cece Wire 

Metal Clay Jewelry by Louise Duhamel

Texture mats

Roller, needle cutter and circle cutter set

More texture mats

Comments

  1. Oh what a shame! I do know people who say the've torched fired copper clay successfully but I've never managed it either. I use a kiln and even with that base metal clay can still produce far more issues than silver. I have things working well now but it took a lot of testing. That said, your sheet metal work is beautiful so at least we'll see plenty more ofthat!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Lesley! It is a shame it didn't work as I did enjoy the making side of it :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Keep your tools and try the silver clay, you can use a torch on these, or either try a butane gas torch rather than the propane as it gets hotter, this is mapp gas in the yellow bottle, i would try this before you give up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't give up on metal clay! You might get a kiln one day! I have never fired my pieces in a kiln, only torch fired them, but most of them are tiny, so they worked ok.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks! I did think about trying silver clay but the price is so high which puts me off.
    Will stick to sheet metal I think!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I mentioned in an earlier comment that I love near to Eastbourne, and I do have kilns, if you ever wanted to use a bit of space in mine let me know.

    Kay
    Toodles and Binks

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly please use the contact form on my "get in touch" page.

Popular posts from this blog

Etching Silver Using Nail Art Stamps

So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern". 
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…

Embossing Metal With My Sizzix Bigshot

I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!


I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal

I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!

I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…