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Thread: Art clay silver curling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    130

    Default Art clay silver curling

    Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum but I'm hoping someone may be able to give me some advice about firing art clay silver.

    I've only just started working with it and I'm looking to do fingerprint/artwork jewellery. I'm practising with getting the technique and the look right before I offer any of my work for sale. I've not gone to the expense of a kiln yet, need to make sure I'm carrying on with the silver jewellery first, so I'm firing my pieces with a butane torch. All is going fine until I fire pieces....they aren't curling completely at the sides but ending up dipped in the middle so when I come to polish the piece it's making it very difficult as it's not flat. I'm very careful when preparing the pieces, sanding them down the get them even etc.

    I'm wondering if firing the pieces in a kiln would solve the problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    130

    Default

    83 views of my post but no advice/tips.

    Thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brittany
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    Default

    Hi I am one of those 83 and do not fully understand your problem, particularly this part "they aren't curling completely at the sides but ending up dipped in the middle". I would not want my PMC to be curling at all, as sometimes happens if you dry it out too quickly.

    As for polishing awkward shapes this can be achieved with a pendant drill and some 3M radial discs such as these http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...rcode-999-1967 , the rubbery types that come in a variety of colours depending on their coarseness, they get into all sorts of nooks and crannies, tumbling also helps to get into awkward places. I have made many PMC pieces and do not have a kiln, though kiln firing does produce a more resilient piece, tumbling also helps to compact a piece that has been torch fired.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,850

    Default

    I don't use the stuff, personally, so while I've read your post, I've nothing constructive to offer beyond the observation that you aren't going to get an even heat across anything large with a butane torch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Rushden, Northamptonshire
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    Default

    I don't have a kiln either, but I fire my pieces on my gas hob rather than with a torch so can't offer any advice I'm afraid.
    Anne

    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
    Blog: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.blogspot.com/
    Website: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.co.uk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    I think it's possible they are too thin? Maybe if you post some photos, we can get an idea of what you have done and are trying to achieve.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default

    Kwant, I don't want my piece curling, the fact that it's curling is the problem. I leave it to dry naturally so I doubt it's down to drying it out too quickly.

    I have made 4 round fingerprint charms in varying thicknesses from around 2mm to 5mm so I doubt the thickness is the problem - they have all curled. I want them to remain flat but after firing they're ending up a concave shape, the outside edge slightly curled up. As I'm firing a piece I can see the edges starting to curl. I've tried backing off with the flame slightly, turning the piece over part way through firing but nothing seems to be working.

    Hopefully I've explained this a bit better.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    Cornwall
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    Is it possible to flatten the piece with a hide mallet?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    2mm is really thin, I think, for PMC. I would have thought 5mm would be ok. maybe fire it on a mesh platform and use two torches, one top and one underneath?

    could try a hide mallet, like carole suggests, but it might break. not sure how flexible PMC is.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    313

    Default

    I do very little PMC - just for fun. I have made a few thin - 2mm ish - pieces. Yes, they curl up markedly at the start of the firing and then, of their own accord, flattened out in the kiln.

    I suspect that the pieces are under-fired and you are suffering torch firing blues. You wont want the advice of buying an expensive kiln...

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