Monday, June 29, 2009

Working with CopprClay - finishing

These three pictures show the process of taking CopprClay from raw to finished. It can take several days for the clay to dry out, or you can hasten the process by warming it in your oven at about 200 F. Even after allowing my pieces to sit out and dry naturally for a few days, I still took this added precaution to ensure they were all completely dry.


After firing, the pieces have the look of the one above on the left. The ammonite pendant on the right has been cleaned with a brass brush. I would have finished it with burnishing and a red rouge polish, but I decided to try an iridescent patina on it, so I wanted there to be more tooth available.



The liver of sulfur formula I used was provided by Katherine Palochak on Ganoksin. She has written up wonderful directions, which I followed pretty much to the letter. I can't think of any way to improve on them, and even though they are a bit of work, please try them out...I think you'll be very pleased!

After dousing this piece four times in the liver of sulfur mixture, I used the brass brush again lightly to clean off the high places. It leaves a wonderful oil-on-water luster, which is hard to capture in photographs, but I believe that you can sort of catch the glint in the photo above.


I mentioned the piece that I hit with Thompson's enamels before firing the other day. It's interesting that after being cleaned up, it much more closely appears bronze than copper. Here's a picture for comparison. I won't be doing this again anytime soon, but it's nice to know!



Copyright 2009 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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2 comments:

Diana said...

Very cool, Cyndi! I do have a question about the liver-of-sulfur patination solution in Katherine's post. It calls for 2 cups of hot water, but it only says to mix the liver of sulfur, ammonia and salt. Is this correct? It doesn't look like you would have a solution to dip things in unless the hot water is mixed with the other ingredients. I ask because I want to try this - just hot water and liver of sulfur makes copper very dark almost instantly, not the effect I want.

Cyndi L said...

The instructions are a little confusing. You mix 1 c of hot water with your LOS and other ingredients, and the other c is just plain hot water. You put your pieces in the plain hot water to heat them up *before* you start dipping into the patination fluid.

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