I pulled an old post from my blog to share with you today. For those of you unfamiliar with Copper Clay I thought you might enjoy seeing the process.
Copper firing, basically from start to finish.
There can be variations in the firing schedule of pmc, this is the one I've been using on my Copper work and it's worked well for me.
Here are the pieces all molded and shaped and filed and ready for the kiln.
First phase of firing is open shelf, 15 minutes at about 650 degrees.
This is what they look like after open shelf firing. All the black stuff comes off during the second Phase.
Then they get packed in Carbon for the second phase, 1700 degrees for about 3 hours.
Here they are all layered in the carbon and loaded in to the kiln.
3 hours later...
I let the container cool off to under 500 degrees before I attempt to remove it. Then I let it sit until it's much cooler. Below it's still hot enough I need to use my heavy duty welding gloves to handle it.
There they are peeking out of the carbon when I pour it out of the container.
Used my gloves and a metal spoon to start to unearth the pieces. Everything cools off rather quickly from here and by the time I've found the large pieces I can usually start using my bare hand to find the smaller ones. There are usually one or 2 that don't want to be found, so when it's completely cool I sift them through the slotted spoon back in to the container and find the stragglers.
Some of them are just about perfect out of the kiln, just a little brushing and they are good to go. Some need to be tumbled for awhile and then I usually take a torch to them to give them lovely variations in color.
So there ya go, approximately 7 hours later I have some pretty Copper goodies, not counting the time it took to get them ready for the kiln. Copper and Bronze are not quick processes.
Then some of them get listed on Etsy!
I actually don't do the open shelf firing these days and go straight in to the carbon.
Seems to work well for me. It's still a very long firing process, from start to finish about 6-7 hours. I usually fire it up before I go to bed and it's cool enough to remove in the morning.