Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Which bronze clay to use? - Prometheus, Hadar's or Fast Fire Bronzclay

While I was with Angie and Marly last week, instead of doing a collaboration project together we decided to do an investigation instead!  Angie and Marly do a lot of work in bronze and copper - using Hadar's powder clays.  While I've tried the variety of bronze clays, I've never found one that suits my needs.  But, as there is a new FastFire Bronzclay on the market, I took a packet of that to Ontario and some Prometheus bronze and they made up a batch of Hadar's bronze clay and the experiment began!

We wrote out a list of characteristics that we could rate each of the products on, including:
  • general feel, 
  • ability to take and retain texture, 
  • cracking, 
  • ease of joining, 
  • ease of sanding, 
  • firing, 
  • finishing 
and then began our testing!
I'll share my comments and findings over a couple of blog posts - but please note that it is all personal. What I like doesn't mean that everyone will like it - and most importantly,  the clays that I like best are going to be those that work for sculptural pieces, as that it what I do.  Just because one might not be good for making an "anyone" figure, doesn't mean it won't be excellent for flat textured purposes.

The look and feel of each one was really quite different.  I find Hadar's always feels dry initially but after a couple of rolls, that quickly disappears and it has a nice feel to it. The Bronzclay had a different sort of wet sand feel to it.  The Prometheus didn't feel good - a bit gritty and dry.

From left to right....FastFire Bronzclay, Hadar's, Prometheus

I decided to try the same pieces with each clay so as to be able to compare them directly.  I made a round tube bead, a square tube bead, one of my little songbirds, and a wing to try carving on (and for one of the clays I also tried making an "anyone" figure).

I'll tell you more about the "wet" working stage tomorrow.

Which have you tried and which did you like?

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