Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crop Circle, Scarab, Snake, and Fear of Camping Stoves

Here’s a piece I listed recently that I had a lot of fun making. It’s a “Crop Circle” saucer-shaped pendant of carved bronze with copper inlay (click the pic for more info).



Then I made two fine silver pendants… the first is a scarab with Lapis accenting…



And a burnished snake on a glittery background…



I finished reading Hadar’s blog. I noticed (at the entry where she was testing the speed-cone firing method) a photo of their single burner camping stove and it’s got a metal plate that mine doesn’t.



Versus



Makes me wonder if not having that extra metal is what contributed to my on/off knob melting (and the top of the propane canister being REALLY heated (not something that thrills me).

You can't see it in that eye-level picture, but if you look at my set-up in yesterday's blog post, you'll notice there are large holes in the NWT camp stove's burner plate.

Then I noticed another set-up later on where there’s tin foil wrapped around the burner plate. Just more things to try.

One more discovery from Hadar’s website is a mention that another sign of over-firing is when mixed metal looks separated.



I won’t hijack one of Hadar’s photos without her permission, but trust me that her test pieces look amazing… totally smooth transition from copper to bronze and vice versa.

Could I still be over-firing at only 1300 degrees?!?!?

Unless I’m over-firing in the first phase and just can’t tell. Although my pieces didn’t look at black as Hadar’s did in her photo.

Well, if the wind gusts aren’t 40mph tomorrow, I’ll try firing one of my big crop circle lentils. Then later, I’ll make up some new test pieces maybe to continue fine-tuning the testing. I feel like my big piece will be okay at 1300 because it’s so much larger and thicker than my test pieces were and I was getting pretty dang close to optimal firing temps.

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