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Bronze clay as a substrate for vitreous enamels

I have searched the forum and am simply checking back on the advice given to others, because I didn’t like what I read and chances are I am going to try it anyway.

If the hitch in the giddeup for enameling on bronze is the zinc content, which I am not 100% on, and since the alloy of the metal clay (bronze) contains Tin and Copper but no Zinc, why couldn’t we enamel on it? Of course I could have that backwards…

I have searched the internet- it seems no-one is doing it and probably there is a reason, but then again maybe there’s not a reason for it sometimes people just don’t want to do the things they’ve been told not to do… I am a rule breaker, but also like to know things about why… thanks for the feedback, and I will let you know how it goes

Sincerely, Janine

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I want to know how it goes!

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I’ve tried enameling on bronze clay and it enameled just fine.

Metal clays tend not to list their exact alloy, but yes, most of the bronze clays are copper and tin with no zinc.

I developed my own copper clay formula about five years ago and have been enameling on it ever since. That copper clay is now called Cyprus and is available at

Soon they’ll be selling my bronze clay and yes, it will accept vitreous enamel too.

Cindy Silas

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Well, today I tested a small piece with some enamels…everything went as planned. There was some clearing a la copper with 2020 but not completely. I pickled scrubbed and applied some Transparent Cerise over top of the flux, because the piece is heart shaped and tomorrow is Valentines day.When I go in tomorrow I will pickle and scrub and see if it pops off, and if it’s all good I will be pretty pleased with myself!

Thanks Cindy and Poodlepup3 for responding.

Happy VD!!!

UPDATE: Sadly, it appears that my Bronzeclay was not sintered well enough and the whole danged thing crumbled as I was setting it into it’s bezel… boo. I had torch fired it and kept it in the fire for a what felt like a good while, but I guess not long enough.

I’m not aware that it’s possible to torch-fire bronze clay. Most base metal clays need to be buried in activated carbon to sinter – so kiln-firing is the easiest way. Also, to sinter, bronze clay needs to be at its sintering temperature (usually 1525 to 1600F, depending on the alloy) for at least two hours.

Hey Cindy,

Yeah, I think that Kiln fired bronze has less issues (like none) and is preferred, but there are a few videos online which show torch fired technique… I am still a little afraid of my kiln, but working on it… which feels rather silly to admit, but is also the truth.

Thanks for all your input- I am always looking to improve in all ways and appreciate every comment.