Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bronze Metal Clay from the Kiln and a Question of Repurposing

I was looking around at other bronze metal clay jewelry today, and no one seems to be addressing the fact that patina can change and even disappear over time. Is it common knowledge that colors on metal change over time? Should we (as sellers) not care if our pieces change color after they’re purchased… even if it’s years down the line? Should I put a note in my listings letting customers know that all patinas will change over time, some more and faster than others, and that keeping an item in a Ziploc bag when not being worn will slow that process down?

Anyway, here’s a bit of my weekend’s work. Here’s the wildly colorful bronze straight from the kiln.



And this is what the pieces look like after the first buff.



Since that photo, I’ve done a couple hours of sanding (from coarse grit to extra-fine grit). No picture of that yet… I’m sort of pooped out for the evening.

I’m very happy with my new Bronze ring, however. Now that I know I can do it, I’ll try something a little fancier next time. I have some ideas based on ancient artifacts that I’d like to try.

BTW, I noticed, as I was spending intimate time sanding my bronze pieces that I really (REALLY) like bronze. I realize gold has more yellow in it, but for the price difference… WOW… give me bronze any day.

And it’s not just about the monetary cost of gold. There are other costs involved… in the mining.

Which brings up something I’ve been thinking about lately.

If a person doesn’t want to use items for personal reasons, like they don’t want to use animal fur because they don’t believe in the killing of animals for our vanity, or people who don’t want to work with gold because of the dangerous mining conditions…. Anyway, if they don’t want to use or work with items for these kinds of reasons, what about recycling?

Is there a difference if you repurpose these kinds of items?

I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about it. I’ve actually got some beads made from repurposed mink fur, but I haven’t used them yet. If I make something with them and offer it for sale, am I promoting the idea of using animal fur for vanity reasons or am I promoting the idea of reusing and recycling things already in existence so we don’t have to make/create more?

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