Not sure how it started.  Guess I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I finally had some time, a bit of PMC and the inclination to give it a whirl . . . . . . .  steel. 

Been wanting to fire it in with PMC for ages.  I’ve got some annealed, well I guess it’s bailing wire or something from the hardware store.  I pounded some of it sort of flat, stuck a small wad of PMC on it and fired it up to 1650.  The steel gets a bit crusty, which sands right off and then I wack on it some more and it holds its shape very nicely.  I’ve got a ring I did yesterday that I’m going to wear for a few days and see if my finger rusts or rots or anything unpleasant.

Then this afternoon I found metal recycling central – we’re talking piles of scrap metal two stories high.  And of course it’s been raining all day, so it was also muck central.  Good thing I had on sturdy shoes.  So I brought home (no charge!) some scrap to play around with.  Experiments_1
I fired a small piece in the kiln to what I think is annealing temperature for steel.  I’m using the Penland Book of Jewelry  for a reference and the next thing was to pickle the fired piece in vinegar and hydrogen peroxide – interesting, huh?  At least for me who knows absolutely nothing about steel.Experiments_2 
Next thing is to scrub it with pumice and a steel brush – neither of which I have, so that means another trip to the hardware store.  So far it’s looking pretty cool, but I’m finding design ideas are not well formed. Experiments_3_2
I think it’s that a big component is unknown – what size, form, etc. is the steel going to take?  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see…….

For something a bit different … I forgot to post my mica pendants.  These are two that have yet to be used – the one on the right is fired to around 1250, the one on the left to 1625. Experiments_5

At that temperature the mica changes dramatically – goes from the translucent ruby mica we know and love to opaque silver puffed up something else entirely – amazing! 

Okay, that’s it for now.  Off to continue with my experiments.

blessings – kvk