Messing with metals

I’ve just fired this coaster for a second time. The first time around, I tried firing it in the kiln with the metals on top of the glass… a circle each of pewter, antique copper, copper foil and brass. Unfortunately it didn’t work. The coppers went black, the pewter looked dry and crusty and the brass fell off!

Wondering if I could salvage it, I decided to have a go at firing it again. I added two copper foil flower shapes on top of two of the circles to try and brighten them up, then popped a square piece of clear glass on top. When I opened the kiln this morning, I was amazed at how well it’s turned out. This coaster is now one of John’s favourites. We like the way the copper and pewter have reacted (top left), the antique copper has gone blue (top right), the copper foil has turned red (bottom left), and the brass has bubbled (bottom left).

It’s a lot of fun experimenting to see what happens when different materials are fired alone and together, within or on top of the glass. And it’s good to know that mistakes aren’t always wasted, but can be reworked and improved.

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