Several years ago, I spent some time experimenting with CopprClay from Rio Grande, forming, firing, and finishing pieces using different methods that I read about. Well, I recently discovered that I had a single small package of the copper clay left in my cupboard. Fearing that it was possibly dried up beyond redemption, I read and learned that CopprClay can be reconstituted pretty easily as long as it hasn't been fired.
Here are some links that will help flesh out my lack of specific instructions here:
General instructions for working with CopprClay
I tried rolling it out and simply hydrating it a bit at first, but that led to limited success. The piece at the top remained cracked and pitted no matter what I tried to do, so I eventually impressed a stalk of lavender in it and just set it aside. The bottom piece fared a bit better after the clay sat in plastic rehydrating for awhile.
Altogether though, the metal clay had lost its bounce and its life. I scraped up all of the remainer and placed it in a small jar along with enough water to cover it. For the next few days, I shook the jar whenever I passed by. My efforts were rewarded with enough slurry to try some new experiments:
1. I filled (and refilled as it evaporated) some oiled molds that I've used before. In the top two shots, they're not finished yet. I kept refilling them with slurry until I got a smooth bottom on all of them. They ended up with a fair number of air bubbles and rough spots, but I didn't really care too much for my purposes. However, if you're looking for a really smooth finish, I'd advise you to use fresh clay, not reconstituted!'
2. I painted the copper slurry onto a ceramic electrical insulator from my attic. The unpolished ceramic grabbed hold of the "paint", so I've got high hopes for it sticking during firing. And 1700 F shouldn't be too hot for the ceramic to handle...I hope!
3. I also painted the copper onto an iron skeleton key. Iron can also withstand the heat, but I don't know how well the copper will stick. This key will join the one that I've already made from a two-part silicone mold. It will be interesting to compare them side by side.
4. You'll see that there are also a few pieces in the top picture for which I haven't shown you close ups. The one on the far right, on the rock, I made years ago but never got around to firing! I'm interested to see if it sticks to the rock or slides off. The other pieces without close ups are painted onto twigs and pods, and they provided some crap-tacularly epic fails that I will share in a separate post!
More coming soon - the firing and the finishing...and the failing!
Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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