Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Trying Rose Bronze (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/10/10

As I’d mentioned a couple of posts ago, I finally got around to seeing what it’s like to work with some of Hadar Jacobson’s Rose Bronze metal clay. Shown with this post are the first four pieces I tried.

Let me begin with this question: what is rose bronze? To answer that, it helps to know what bronze is, in general: an alloy of copper and tin. If you put in “enough” tin, the result moves from the reddish “copper” color to more of a yellow or brown that we typically think of as the “bronze” color (as well as giving it the strength and other characteristics of bronze). If you use less tin, and thus more copper, the final product retains more of that coppery-color while still acting much like bronze in general. (Similarly, rose gold is an alloy that contains both gold and copper, such that it there is enough copper to give it that rosy-coppery color.)

So the questions that I had about this product were:
(a) How would it work, in general (would it act much like regular bronze)?
(b) How would it work in combination with other metal clays (starting with the standard yellow bronze, for now, but eventually I’ll check others too)?
(c) What would it look like, in comparison with, and contrast to, copper and bronze?

For my first attempts then, until I was sure of how it would work, I didn’t spend very much time either designing or making the pieces. Then again since I had every reason to believe it would work much like cooper and bronze do, my first pieces involved more than the simple “charms” I often use for testing a completely new product. Still, I did not go much beyond the very basic techniques of rolling, texturing, draping, layering, and doming, though I did try a mix of flat and curved shapes.

Of course, this being me … I did make all four of my first “test” pieces reversible! In the first photo, above, you can see that each of them has some curvature to it, with one side that is clearly convex (like the bottom or underside of a bowl). The second photo, to the left, shows the range I first tried on the “other” side of each one: perhaps concave (like the inside of a bowl), or else flat and layered, or even another convex draped shape. I don’t consider the sides shown in the second set to be the “back” of any piece: I just consider those to be the “other” sides, ones which could easily be worn in front.

Note that, while I used mostly the darkish reddish “rose bronze” clay, three of the eight sides also contain one or more elements made from regular “yellow bronze” too. While the difference in color between the two is highly obvious with pieces in the greenware (dried clay) state, I suspected that they’d end up almost similar after being fired. And I was right!

More on that shortly….

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