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Can I fire the metal clays without a kiln?

Yes. You can use a butane torch or PMC's hot pot. In my classes I teach how to use the torch. However, I do not recommend it. I have had too many students who rely on the torch and have had irreparable failures. If you under-fire, the piece will not be strong and will eventually break. If you get the torch too close, you will melt the silver and lose detail. Recently a student who uses the torch brought me a piece that had broken into several pieces when torched. I knew by the look of the interior that the piece had not been dried thoroughly before firing. Had this piece been fired in a Paragon SC-2 kiln at Ramp 3, it would not have broken.

I believe that most bead stores and ceramic shops would agree to be a firing station if they understood what was in it for them. Firing stations charge between $5.00 per kiln load up to $10.00 per piece to be fired, and most people want to wait for their pieces to be fired. That means between 20 minutes and an hour of shopping. Most of my students say that they would prefer having someone fire their pieces in a kiln as opposed to learning how to use a torch. Locally we have an excellent firing station in a bead store.

Sallie Bly

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