At the beginning of this year I decided to take a little leap into the unknown-to-me world of metal clay. I spent precious jewelry sales earnings on a kiln and a variety of precious metal clay, molds, and tools, and began -for lack of better word- playing. I immediately fell in love with the versatility and ease of bronze. My kiln also seems to like the bronze as it has fired flawlessly every time thus far. (Copper is not my friend yet)
So what is METAL CLAY? To put it very simply, it is finely ground metal of your choice (comes in a variety of silvers, gold, bronze, copper, etc) mixed with organic binders to make it pliable and easy to work with and mold just like a clay. The science is incredible. Once you are finished shaping, you must dry the pieces completely before firing or they will potentially blister. The process of firing in the kiln at extreme temperatures and precise programs and schedules burns away the organic binders that made the 'clay' pliable, and sinters the metal particles into one solid piece of metal. I am still totally in awe of the process, and am loving every minute of working with this fun medium!!!! Here are a couple of photos from 'green clay' which needs to dry before firing, to the fired pieces that I then finish by soldering loops to in this case, and then the finished charms.
If you'd like your own Zodiac Sign Charm in solid bronze, you can find them here: https://www.aztecadesignsboutique.com/collections/frontpage/products/bronze-zodiac-sign-charms-hand-fabricated-made-to-order