the first move of 2014

It has been ages since I made Mokume gane last time…

…yes, it is not good.

But, the other day last week was the first Mokume making day of 2014 for me!!

A friend of mine (Thanks Dot! :)) let me use a kiln being set at her place and I fused (or ‘melted’ I should say..?) some sheets of silver and gilding metal.

It always takes time to get to know how machines and tools work if you use them for the first time, and to me use of this kiln for the first time was no exception.

The kiln was smaller than the one I used to use before, so it might heat up quicker than the one I was using at school, I anticipated.

Here the process I went through this time. ↓

1, By using emery paper, prepare nice and clean flat sheets of metal. ( You can see scratches on the left sheet and, the right one is oxidised.  So both of them need to be sanded down.)

gilding metal

2, Wash the metals with detergent and dry them.

preparation metal

3, Set the layered metals in a clamp and also set a sheet of paper between metal and clamp.

set in cramp

4, Cover  layered sheets of metal with flux.

flux covered

5, Set the clamp in an electric kiln.

kiln

6,

Heat the kiln slowly starting from 650° up to 770° as it takes 1 hour. At this stage, the colour of the clamp is dull red.

And then, heat up the temperature of the kiln gradually.

780°- Red

790°- Orange like red

810°- Orange red

830°- Orange

About 2 minutes later I saw the orange colour in the clamp at 830°, I saw some molten metal between the clamp.  So I turned the power off and let it cool down.

7, The billet after being fused (OR melted down..).

billet

(Another look from the other side) You can see a large amount of metal has flowed out.

billet2

Another look again. You can see there are gaps or holes in alloy which was created by this fusing process.

billet3

At this stage, I do not know if this fusing process succeeded or not.

Fingers crossed, and hopefully I will be able to work on this Mokume making soon.

* By the way, there is an extra laborious work to clean the clamp by hammering…

empty cramp

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