So when you’ve made your shape with the metal clay, textured it and dried it, you need to sand the edges and make sure everything is smooth and tidy. It’s a lot easier to do this when it’s clay, rather than after firing.

Now it’s time to fire your piece. You can do this in a kiln, but it’s much more fun to do it with a blow torch. The clay needs to get to about 700oC or more, so you’ve got to have a real blow torch, a candle or something is not going to cut it. With PMC3 or Art Clay 650 the firing time is really short, about two and a half minutes. The clay produces a flame when you first turn the heat on it, it can be a surprisingly big flame, but don’t worry that’s the organic binder burning off. Once the flame has died the sintering begins and it turns into metal.

Image

Sorry about the blurry photo, but you can see the process here. On the left is a dried piece of unfired clay. The middle heart is a fired piece, see it has shrunk a little. The white residue is the natural state of silver. After a scrub with a brass brush the silver colour shows through, as you can see on the right. Magic huh?

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