Everyone  - Let's move all this good discussion about copper into this discussion thread so it all stays together.  Thanks

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Thank you, Christine. I started it because I wanted to know about firing ArtClay Copper in a Paragon Caldera kiln. I am concerned about opening up my top-loading Caldera to remove 1778 degree copper pieces for quenching (per the ArtClay instructions). Opinions are kind of divided on which way is best to fire- open shelf with quenching or in a container with carbon. I'm leaning toward the carbon (because I'm a chicken) but I would love to figure out a way to not use the carbon method that doesn't scare me so much! :)


Ya know, I used to do a lot of pate de verre and that required opening my Paragon floor kiln by the top to flash cool pieces, that was about 1200' I have a 3ft long hook and heat proof gloves and glasses but it was still risky. I saw a gal's hair catch on fire back in college when she opened a hot kiln.....the updraft.

Of course I open my SC3 while enameling and that's 1450' but it's a side door.

Sorry, Christine. Hard to switch over once you get going, ha ha.


Thanks Pam, Angela. I guess I'm on the carbon side of things. Not that I like it so much either but I prefer it in this case. BTW, I am using Magic Carbon which I believe works well for this purpose. I also have fired silver clay successfully in it. Your mileage may vary of course...


Wanaree, it should will work. Though, I've only done simple things. If I were doing it, of course I'd do it in carbon anyway...


Evelyn, the top-loading definitely adds a degree of difficulty. But if you plan out your procedure well and take the necessary precautions, I'm sure it can be done safely.



Thanks Gordon! I've never actually done any copper work with ACC, just Copprclay, I think I'd have a conniption fit if I didn't fire in carbon, so Magic Carbon it is.

Ooo, Ann, that story is making me even more scared! Once in a while when I'm impatient I open my kiln after firing silver clay at 1650 (when it gets to about 1100) and I don't care for reaching into the glowing heat even though I have welding gloves. Then there's that top to the kiln. I never know where to put it when it's hot like that. It's tricky. That said, I would be game for trying it if I could come up with a method that doesn't risk burning the house down!

The carbon might be good for me to learn to work with because I am also thinking about the sterling clay recipe.

When working on my own projects, I like using Gordon's method with carbon at 970°C as I get good results and very strong pieces. But, when teaching a large class I opt for Angela's solution with the fiber blanket as I can get more pieces into the kiln at one time. Yes, it's a bit messy but, so is the carbon firing. (My kiln hates it!).

Kenji and Gordon should know!!

I use fiber blanket sometimes... and you know what??? you could just let it cool naturally and then torch it a little...and dunk it in cold water...then torch it again to get the colors...bet that will work..seems like more control!! hmmmmm


Oh and you should have seen the guys in my college classes, late 60s early 70's  with the long hair hangin' down.... I always put mine up...but this guy sitting next go me in casting class literally  torched off in a wedgie line of his biblical hair...one side of his glorious locks!!! it was a stinky class...ewhhhhh///// The professor told us all to pull our hair back!! Bit it was a private college and It was the age of Aquarius you know:)))))hahhahaha mystic visions and all that...I'm sure he felt 'one' with the torch after that!!!!


Just thought I'd update how I'm doing with the copper. Because of having a Caldera kiln- and after reading all of your advice- I decided to go with a no-flake foil firing pan and Magic Carbon instead of the quenching method. I've folded up my firing pan and I'm priming the carbon now. Next step, test strips! After that I'll actually make something... If it doesn't turn out completely embarrassing, I'll post a picture! Thanks again for all of the advice.


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