Thursday, March 19, 2009

Italian Bronze Clay Revisited

I repaired my bronze bracelet links and sanded on the huge knobs on the bangle, deciding to fire it as is. I pulled all out of hot carbon, but got some variations in the basic golden to brown color.

I'm getting a better handle on the patina issue. I think it depends on the temperature of the piece when it comes out. I gave up and brushed all the bronze and then torch patinaed to a nice peachy tone with blue and magenta highlights (the photos here don't show it accurately; I'll shoot againg). That I could do reproducibly, so that's going to be my method of choice if I don't like the kiln goddess' offering.

I spent almost an entire afternoon messing around with different construction schemes. The basic problem was that I didn't make enough links to encompass my wrist, so I needed something to space them out. I tried making more oval jump rings, but it still wasn't enough.

Finally, I went to the Little Torch and beaded wire connectors with silver lined peach bead spacers. It's still a bit short, but I can get it on.

The final problem involved the toggle. I forgot to add a center hole to attach it, and bronze is really hard to drill. So I wired a long piece between the two end holes, then twisted it with round nose pliers to make a loop. A jumpring attached the toggle. First I made the toggle too short, then I added the balls on the ends, which made it too long. It requires some work to get through the hole. Lessons for next time!

Perhaps I'll make a few more links next batch of bronze, if I can recall how long they were. Obviously, I should have traced them before firing!

Oh, and the bangle. Still not acceptable. But it is instructive to see how much those big knobs shrank. My sense of sizing is not so far off after all. They just don't come around the wrist far enough, and one of them has the original snake poking through the end now. Time to start over.