Copper Clay Toggle Clasps…FAIL

I’m very new to the whole copper clay world. I’ve only done a handful of firings, so I’m not really sure of many things. I’ve got the basics written down from various online blogs and websites, and I’m stumbling along.
So bear with me, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here.
Yesterday I rolled out some clay, pressed a pattern from a rubber stamp into it, and cut out a few trapezoidal toggle clasps.
They dried overnight, and today was firing day.
I put the pieces into a stainless pot filled halfway with charcoal and then filled the pot the rest of the way up with more charcoal, and ramped that baby up to 1650F degrees.

I was supposed to let it cook for 2 hours, according to all the research I did, and I thought I did…( I may have been a little bit impatient).

When it was time I turned off the kiln, lifted the cover off, and then also the cover off the pot.
It was hot.
Really, really hot.

So I fished around in the pot with my REALLY long tweezers and an oven mitt (that started to smoke), pulled out the pieces, and quenched them in some cold water. Sssssssizzzzzzzle.

I didn’t pickle them because I like the black oxidation down in the crevices, so I started to clean one of them up with a bit of fine steel wool and a burnishing stick, and it happenned…. crack.

Crap.

So…. back into the kiln they’ll go I guess. I don’t think I cooked them long enough. Those that know this stuff better than me what do you think? Vickie? It it just too thin there? Or can they usually hold up and I just didn’t cook them long enough? I figure that if it was just too thin near the hole, it wouldn’t have broken on the side without the hole too, would it?

So sad….. 😦

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2 comments on “Copper Clay Toggle Clasps…FAIL

  1. Does it look sintered all the way through at the break or can you see powder inside? How thick were they? I’m hearing stories of working 6 cards thick to be strong enough.

    • jennifergeldard says:

      Argh… I can’t really tell if it’s powdery.
      It was 4 cards thick, so maybe too thin.
      I’ll try to re-fire today and see what happens.

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