Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Part 2 - Which bronze clay to use? Prometheus, Hadar's or FastFire Bronzclay?

Following on from yesterday's post about our testing out the three types of bronze clay.....

I began with Hadar's bronze clay and made a round tube textured bead, a square tube plain bead, a little songbird and a wing for carving.  The clay took and kept the texture just fine on the round bead.  When it came to the square bead, there was some cracking in the clay, but after it dried, it was easy enough to fill in the cracks and sand it down - although when filling you do lose some of the texture.  The bird was easy to shape and the wings joined relatively easily.  When it came to carving the wing, it was quite difficult to carve - even after I had moistened the surface a little. I also tried carving the square bead but it wasn't easy.

Hadar's Bronze Clay

Next up was Prometheus and I made the same pieces as above.  The Prometheus clay did not seem to hold it's shape or texture.  The texture on the round bead reduced considerably and the shape of the bird slumped so that the base of the bird was just flat where it sat.  It just couldn't hold it's shape.  Making the square bead, there was a lot of cracking and these didn't seem to fill very easily.  Joining was OK both on the seams and the bird however I found I couldn't make a small bird like I could in the other clays - it just didn't seem easy to manipulate in small scale.  Carving, like Hadar's, was difficult and not enjoyable.

I do want to make a comment here about Prometheus.  I tried Prometheus when it first came on the market and it was a joy to work with. I liked it.  Recently I got two more packets and the clay is totally different in every way from my initial packet. I don't know if they have changed the formula or changes occurred as they ramped up production but these last two packets just don't seem to "work" like the first one.  I emailed the manufacturer/supplier after I had tried this new batch a few weeks ago, expressing my disappointment, but they never responded.

Prometheus Bronze clay
Finally - I managed to wrestle the FastFire Bronzclay from Marly to try that.  Wow!  No wonder she didn't want to let it go.  It is a joy to work with.  It takes and keeps texture well and the seams on the beads joined very easily.  There was no cracking on the square bead and the songbird was just as easy as anything. I embedded some bronze wire into the bird too.  The wing was a delight to carve - like running the carver through butter.  What a difference to the other two.  There was no need to moisten the surface or anything.  Just a dream.  I was so enjoying this, I decided to try it out on an "anyone" figure too and he worked just fine.

Fastfire Bronzclay
 You'll have to wait until tomorrow for me to tell you about firing and finishing the three clays.


Amadora Designs UK said...

Thanks for sharing this Ruth...I have got hold of all three types of clay too, to experiment with :)

Ruth said...

Oh great. I'll be really interested to see how you get on and which one is your favorite. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Hadar's "Quick-fire" clays, or only her traditional kind? I'd be curious to know your thoughts on how they compare. Please e-mail me and let me know. And thanks so much for your helpful post!