COPPRclay™is easily sculpted, molded, carved and formed, and becomes solid copper when fired. Yourimagination and just a few simpletools will allow you to create solid copper pieces, from jewelry to sculptures!
Andbecause COPPRclay is pure copper, it’sgreat for those artists who enjoy applying enamels (note the required firing requirements on back).
Workingwith COPPRclay™ COPPRclay™ is justthat: a clay. Like clay, it’s highly workable but it also dries quickly. You’ll notice the clay stiffening and cracking when it begins to dry.
Sometips to keep in mind:
•Keep COPPRclay™ refrigerated until you’re ready to use it and in between sessions. • Rub a dab of olive oil on your handsbefore you begin working with theclay.
•While working the clay, refresh it periodically with a small amount of water using a spray bottleor brush.
•Wrap pieces that you are not currently working on in plastic and place to the side.
•Avoid using tools that absorb water.
•When not in use, keep the clay tightly wrapped in plastic and place the wrapped piece in a sealedplastic bag for added protection.Store all unopened packages (as well asopened packages) of COPPRclay™ in a refrigerator when not in use.
MakingSlip Slip will quickly become one ofyour favorite tools for working withCOPPRclay™, and it’s easy to make. Simply mix tiny pieces of clay (filings, small dried or wet pieces, etc.) with water (we recommend distilled water for alonger shelf-life) until you reach atoothpaste consistency. Keep your slip stored in a sealed container. Note: Slip will last for about one week, so make only enough for yourimmediate need.
Dryingthe Clay Once you’ve finished yourpiece, you will need to dry the clay beforefiring it. Gently place the piece on a warming surface such as a coffee mug warmer or on the topof a kiln (be careful to keep piecesaway from the kiln’s vents); an inexpensivevegetable dehydrator works well, too. Once dry, you’ll notice the clay is leather hard, making it very easy to add finishing touches such asfiling, drilling, sanding and carving.Once COPPRclay is fired, it’s much more difficult to finish, so take advantage of thispre-fired stage to do as much of yourdetailed finishing work as possible.
Firing To reduce oxidation, the piece(s) must be embedded in coconut shell–based activated carbon duringfiring. Important: Some coal-based carbons may not fire COPPRclay properly; we recommend using coconut shell–based activated carbon.
FiringCOPPRclay™ is a two-step process that uses low heat to vaporize the binder, then high heatto sinter the alloy.
1)Spread 1" of coconut shell–based activated carbon granules on the bottom of a stainless steelfiring container .
2)Place the piece on top of the layer; if firing two or more pieces, leave at least 1/2" betweenpieces, more if the pieces are large.
3)Pour more activated carbon granules on top of the pieces until the container is filled 1" fromthe top, making sure there is a1/2" layer of granules on top of the pieces. Again, if you are firing many pieces inlayers, make sure there is at least1/2" of space between the vertical layers as well. Note: Do not fire more than 100grams of clay at once; overloading may cause poor sintering. 4) Put the stainless steel lid on thefiring container and place it in thekiln on stilts to allow good heat circulation.
Note:Front-loading kilns are cooler in the front near the door, so the front of your firing containerwill be cooler than the other sides.Compensate for this by placing the piecescloser to the sides and back of the firing container, making sure you leave at least 1" ofspace between the pieces and the frontof the firing pan. If you have a top-loadingkiln, there’s no need to adjust.
For COPPRclay™ pieces that will not beenamelled: Regardless of thickness(embedded in coconut shell–based activatedcarbon):
Ramp at full speed to 1700°F–1800°F (927°C–982°C) and hold for 3 hours (totalfiring time, including ramp-time, willbe about 4 hours).
Mostfirings perform well at 1700°F.However, if you discover that your piecesare not sintering properly, try firing them at 1800°F. Please Note: Blistering may occur at1800°F; if this occurs, slightlydecrease the firing temperature.
ForCOPPRclay™ pieces that will be enamelled: Follow the two-phase firing schedule below if you plan to enamel your piece. Phase 1 (open-shelf fire) For pieces 3mm thick or less: Place thepiece directly on the firing shelf.Ramp at 500°F/hour (278°C/hour) then hold at 560°F (293°C) for 15 minutes. Forpieces thicker than 3mm: Place the piece directly on the firing shelf. Ramp at 200°F/hour(93°C/hour) then hold at 560°F (293°C)for 15 minutes. Phase 2 (sintering) Regardless of thickness: Embed the piece incoconut shell–based activated carboninside a firing pan. Ramp at fullspeed to 1750°F (954°C) and hold for 31/2 hours. Allow the piece to cool naturally insidethe kiln. Finishing Once fired, the COPPRclay™ piece is a solidpiece of metal. As with other metals,it can be sawn, drilled, sanded,patinaed or soldered using traditional jewelry tools and materials. Keep in mindthat many finishing techniques will beeasier to perform at the dried,pre-fired stage. Safety The binder in COPPRclay™ is non-toxic, andno toxic fumes will be present duringfiring. Though rare, it is possible for some individuals to experience somesensitivity to COPPRclay™. Werecommend wearing a dust mask whileworking with the activatedcarbon.
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Silica, crystalline (airborne particles of respirable size), which are known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.