Friday, 15 May 2009

Creating Bronze Jewellery - Firing Times

I made whole heap of Bronze jewellery recently and after the last firing (when the bronze wasn't fully sintered) I decided to fire them really, really slowly. It worked!
The bangle, which is the thickest piece, was even formed into shape post firing. It stood up to whacking it with a mallet on a bangle mandrel... Hoorah! Success :)

This is how I prepared it:
1) 1 inch of charcoal firing medium in my steel firing pan
2) Bronze bangle and another piece with 1 inch between them
3) Another inch charcoal
4) Some more bronze pieces
5) Another Layer
6) More pieces
7 ) Top up with charcoal, leaving 2/3 inch gap to lid
8) Put lid on & programme Kiln

My Firing Temps & Times:
I used a UK Paragon SC2 Kiln, with a viewing window. The firing pan was slightly raised off the bottom by putting it on my smallest kiln posts. Be careful not to let it touch the Pyrometer at the back of the kiln. I fired it overnight as this is a very, very long firing schedule.
1) Programme 1 - Ramp speed 80 Centigrade per hour
2) Until it reaches 850 Centigrade
3) Hold for 2 hours
4) Remove when cold & sieve out your pieces!

Hope that helps anyone with their own experiments, there are some more close up pictures on my shop blog :)

Nicola xx


  1. These are beautiful Nicola. I especially love the tree of life pendant.
    Thanks for the tips on how to fire bronze clay. Maybe one day I will have a kiln and be able to try it, for now I have to use my torch on silver clay only. Your work is very inspiring though, keep it up!

  2. They are wonderful. I was wondering about the bronze clay. I only have a mini kiln. Do you reckon you could fire the stuff in that?

  3. Thanks Beadin By The Sea - you should definately try it if you can get access to a kiln :)

    Tollykit - the bronze needs to be fired in an oxygen gree environment...This is done by firing it in a container filled with carbon. So as long as you can find a container to fit in the mini-kiln then it would be possible.

    Nic xx

  4. Wow thats some long firing time!

    I too have an sc2 with bead door and window, I put it up to 850 yesterday to fire oil paste and that was scary enough, never mind for the whole night lol x

  5. I have read your instructions for firing bronze and was wondering if I ramp it up by 80 degrees celcius won't the whole thing take about 10 hrs or more to fire. It sounds a little too long. Can you explain it as I have to convert the temp to Australian celcius temp. My friend has a small electric kiln and goes to 900 celcius.

  6. Yes that's how long I fired it for =
    I had a very thick bangle in it...
    If your pieces are thinner you could ramp slightly faster but I did note that by ramping really slowly I also semed to avoid problems with blistering :)

  7. Hi Nicola,

    Have you fired any of the new Bronzeclay fast fire?

    I'm experimenting and so far not having any luck.

  8. Sorry Sue - I have some but haven't got around to trying it yet :(

  9. willowwirecreations27 November 2010 at 13:09

    Hi. Nic.
    Thanks for this post, I have some of Hadar's quick fire bronze clay, my first attempt at firing failed miserable, so I used your method and it worked.
    Ann x
    P.S. which bronze clay did you use, was it Hadar's?

  10. Glad it helped Ann!
    I used Bill Struves clay :)
    Nicola xx

  11. Hi Nicola,
    I was wondering if your firing schedule would work with a Paragon SC1 kiln?
    Thank you for the wonderful information,

  12. As long as a firing pan will fit then I can't see why not :)
    Just to be extra sure (and as each kiln seems to fire differently) I'd make sure you put some "descructo strips" in with the firing then you can check them for sintering, rather than your work ;)

  13. I too have had better luck with longer ramping times...never tried this long but I just might this time...Thanks so much...kate


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