Bronze and copper metalclay

This technique of metallurgy by sintering. has been used since the 19th century (perhaps earlier but I have not found anything about it) to make titanium wire.
The yellow bronze, bronze gold color, is made of 90% copper and 10% tin, the white bronze, silver color, is made of 80% copper and 20% tin.
It all starts with metal dust ……. to 90 parts of this bronze or copper powder we add 10 parts of a cellulose binder (in the 19th century maizena. I add distilled water and I obtain a malleable paste resembling pottery clay and which can be worked in the same way. I can then model it, stamp it, mold it…

Then I let it dry gently, 1 to 2 days to avoid cracking , the pieces become very hard. I can then sculpt them, engrave them, sand them, chisel them, pre-polish them,

Then a first firing takes place at 350°C in an oxidizing atmosphere, that is, in the presence of oxygen (from the air) in order to burn the binder that would prevent sintering. The parts then become anthracite gray and are very fragile

The metal pieces are placed in containers , buried in charcoal. This creates an atmosphere known as “reducing” and the metal is fired away from oxygen , at 830°C for yellow bronze, 740°C for white bronze and 930°C for copper

When the parts come out of the furnace, the metal grains have welded together. The parts have shrunk by 10 to 20% and are oxidized, they must then be sanded, polished . Then I encaustic with a wax that I make myself composed of essence of orange peel and beeswax diluted with medical kerosene oil .I just have to mount them in bracelets, necklaces, earrings …

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Beach Treasures-Pick of the Day

I went for a walk on Keraude beach to collect shells .
Here are my finds from Saturday and Monday. There is not much glass because in France it is recycled. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the purple mother of pearl bearded mussel but I’m going to be able to make some nice pendants with the pearls and oysters adding bronzes to them The pebble should be fine for a painting

After coating some amonias and an oyster lid with crystal resin to give them a wet look and strengthen them, today I used them by adorning them with hand-modelled bronze pieces and freshwater pearl cabochons. It’s really not worth buying south sea mother of pearl, , our Breton beaches are littered with treasures

to see the Beach treasures in my shop clic here

Butterfly Fairy

the basic collar

I had made a small necklace with bronze butterfly fairy as center piece, mounted on freshwater pearls mixed with vintage brass beads.
A regular customer who loves emeralds I used on one of her necklaces asked me if I could replace the pearls with emeralds. Luckily I had enough left, they were treated emeralds of lesser quality otherwise I couldn’t afford them.
I had to enlarge the holes in the beads so they would fit over the bronze wire.

How to widen the holes

And here is the emerald necklace. So, you see, anything is possible! well almost….
And here it is …everything is possible!…..almost … .

Collar completed