Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Experimenting with Prometheus Bronze Clay

I've just tried out a new bronze clay that doesn't require activated carbon for firing. It's made in France and called Prometheus Bronze Clay.


I decided to test it by making a simple sculpted pair of cat earrings. Meet Claude and Claudia (get it?..Clawed??)

I liked working with it in it's clay stage a lot. It had a nice feel to it, parts attached very easily with just a little water, smoothed and sanded nicely..... It reminded me of Original PMC in it's feel.

For firing, you can fire it wrapped in paper towels and kiln blanket or fire it open. For my first experiment, I tried it wrapped. Each piece was first wrapped in half a paper towel, then both were rolled together in a kiln blanket. They were fired for 30 minutes at 700 degrees C /1292 degrees F. It was straight forward.


After firing, I took them out and quenched them in cold water. At this stage, black oxidised flakes came off. On one of them, a large chunk came off the front, causing a big indentation. Both seemed fully scintered.

The result was two very pink colored cats. I polished them and tumbled them.

My main comment re. the fired pieces was that the bronze looks mottled in color. There is definitely a rosy tinge to the bronze, but it seems a little patchy in the pieces. A more golden color shows through in some areas as you can see in the photos.


Anyhow - I assembled the cats, as I wanted to figure out how to do the four legs! The legs now ring very gently against the body - making them sound like quiet little bells!

Anyone else get this mottled rose and golden bronze in the same piece? What have your experiences been trying out this new clay? I'd love to hear. I'm going to try and open firing next and see how that compares.

13 comments:

Mieko said...

I just made a few pieces with Bronze Clay this week and will fire them tomorrow. The color of your pieces are really unlike regular bronze (yellowish gold) that I recognize. I have tried Copper Clay, but I wasn't too happy with the result I got. They weren't sintered through although they are pretty small pieces. Are you satisfied with the result? I love the cats and their four legs. Initially, without my glasses, I thought your birds had four legs!

zsazsazsu said...

Hi I tried the Prometheus bronz clay too and like also very much to work with it. But ... the color is very reddish instead of the yellow kind of bronz clay you get from metalclay adventures.
Pictures are on my blog, have a look !

Anonymous said...

they are wonderful, mottled or know...perhaps they are secret tabby cats? so cute.

Destiny's Creations said...

Ruth, these are absolutely the cutest little kitty cat earrings.

I have to say I like this pinkish golden color ALOT! Are these for sale yet?

Destiny's Creations said...

Ruth, these are absolutely darling and I love the rosey gold color you have achieved. I may need to try prometheus, but I just have to use up these 2 packs of the BronzClay brand.

Are these for sale yet? I love them for me!!!

Ruth said...

Thanks Mieko. I think I need to try a few other options - while the mottling looks OK on cats - ie makes them tabby cats - it isn't something that I'd want on all pieces!

Ruth said...

Hi Zsazsazsu. Loved your comment on your blog about the change in color! Hadn't thought of that!!

Ruth said...

Hi Anon- Purfect! Tabby cats! I couldn't think what the word was for mottled cats!!! :-D

Ruth said...

Hi Janice. thanks for your lovely comments. I wasn't going to sell these cats as I wasn't happy with the bit where the chunk fell off! But I'll make you some more if you'd like some and see how they turn out.

Easterya said...

The colour is a real asset, it's gorgeous!!!

Ruth said...

Thanks Darlin' Fabs! Hopefully I'll get some time this week to try this again and see what happens!

www.chrismalcomsonminiatures.com said...

I make miniature furniture (www.chrismalcomsonminiatures.com) and bought a mini kiln to make bronze mounts for my work. I chose the new prometheus bronze clay. After firing them for 30 minutes at 820 degrees they came out copper red. Also they were very brittle and snapped when bent...
Not tried to polish them yet but am disapointed with my first results.
As a complete novice I have no idea what I can do to solve the problems. The colour I want is bronze and clearly solid bronze wouldn't snap so readily..
Possibly a longer than recommended firing time and activated carbon?
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Ruth said...

Hi. Sorry to hear about your difficulties with prometheus. I did find it is a very rose colored bronze and haven't used it since these blog posts. A more popular version is Bronzclay which seems more reliable and will probably give you what you want. If you search for that, you will find some info on firing and where to buy. Good luck with it.
Ruth