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Metal clay: Torch firing metal clay

BASICS_torch firing MC

Place the unfired metal clay piece in the middle of a firing brick. Hold the torch at a 45° angle, 2 in. (51mm) from the piece. You will see a small amount of smoke and flame, and then the piece will turn white. Keep the torch moving over the piece until you see the piece glow. When the piece turns a peach color, begin to time the sintering cycle. Firing time ranges from 1–5 minutes, depending on the weight of the piece (see chart). Increase or decrease the distance of the torch from the metal clay piece, depending on whether the color intensifies or fades. If the piece begins to look shiny or if you see sparks, the piece is near the melting point; pull the torch farther away from the piece. At the end of the sintering cycle, use tweezers to move your piece to the cooler edge of the firing brick, and allow it to cool completely.

Metal clay pieces must be under 25 grams in weight and the size of a United States silver dollar or smaller in order to be torch-fired. You cannot torch-fire pieces if the main component is sheet or paper clay. Torch-firing pieces that are formed around cork clay can create open flames and can be hazardous.

Safety notes:
When torch firing, wear cotton; synthetic materials can melt and stick to the skin if burned. Tie back your hair, wear closed-toed shoes, and don’t wear loose-fitting clothes.

Torch-firing times

Weight (grams) Time (minutes)
1–5 1
6–10 1.5
11–15 2
16–20 2.5–3
21–15 3.5–5
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