Sunday, October 13, 2013

Repairs in (fired) Metal Clay

"The best laid plans..." don't mean a thing when you open the kiln and realize you've changed your design in your head.  In this case, I decided I wanted to remove the bail I had been unhappy with all along for a coil based design.  This meant taking the torch to the piece, which took just long enough to cut the old bail off to put a small hole in its side.  Sigh.  Not to worry though, I am a big fan of Art Clay Silver's Oil Paste which was the solution to both these problems.  There are a lot of DIY metal clay oil paste recipes, but I am a big fan of a sure thing when I am already investing a fair amount of time and money.  A jar of it is a great investment to keep on hand and seems to go a very long way.  It actually has two parts - the oil (a thinning agent) and the paste (a thick, dry consistency) - you mix the two together as you go to use it.  In the case of the hole in the side, I painted it on, allowed it to dry and pasted a patch over the area.  The side view above is the same as the side view to the left with a hole in it.  I then wanted to add my new bail and coated the contact areas of the fired piece with the oil paste, allowed it to dry and attached the fresh coil.  I then re-fired it according to directions. The oil paste is able to bond with the fine silver so you can make repairs, add fine silver findings to fired pieces or even torch fire fine silver bezel wire seams.  It's one of those great materials that I wouldn't go without in the studio because that would be the very moment you needed it!

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