Last Saturday, 1st August, I hosted a COPPRclay workshop taught by Lara LeReveur. COPPRclay was released in 2009 and is made up of pure copper, water and non-toxic binding materials. The binding materials vaporise during the kiln-firing process leaving you with a solid copper piece with a density over 95% that of cast copper. COPPRclay has a pleasant consistency, is forgiving to hand at the leather hard stage, fires consistently well and has a large shrinkage rate (approx. 30%) which makes for good details of texture.
After an introduction and a demo we were straight into creating our first piece. This had to be made fairly quickly to ensure that we had enough time to fire the piece so we could practice our finishing skills later in the day!
This was my first attempt at creating with COPPRclay and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised! I have never been a big fan of copper findings in my bead work but this workshop certainly changed my mind. The COPPRclay was much easier to work with (in my opinion) than PMC and being that it is a much cheaper material than silver clay, I was able to create larger pieces which suited me well! Those who know me will know I find it extremely hard to work ‘small’ 🙂
Another ‘first’ for me was watching how the whole firing process works. From preparing the kiln, setting the temperature to pulling the piece out and quenching them. I found it quite amazing…….and it’s prompted me to do some research on different types of kilns – this may be my next major purchase LOL!
We then had to finish our pieces. Some decided against hand finishing and put theirs in the tumbler but I decided to hand finish mine. This is how it turned out after brushing with a wire brush, sanding, burnishing and polishing. I was quite pleased with it – especially for a first go! Our other pieces are still with Lara being fired. I will post mine once it comes back. I made a little toggle clasp – hopefully it survived the firing.
For those of you that want to give COPPRClay a try, I would thoroughly recommend it. We will run more classes in this medium in the future so keep your eyes on the website.
Thanks to Lara for a fantastic day. For those of you that would like to take workshops/classes with Lara, you can find out more about her and what she does at her website here . You can also view some of her beautiful work here .
Currently we do not stock COPPRclay however we can order it in for you as a special order. Alternatively, why not visit Jennifer Tattam at Metal Clay Australasia. Jen provides quality products and a wonderful mail/web order service – make sure you tell her I sent you! She is also an expert in all things metal clay!