When people first start to learn about making fingerprint jewelry, the hardest thing to work out is how to fire the work.
You might be in that same position, so he are a few options to think about:
- Butane torch – this is the cheapest way to fire metal clay by far – it is also very fast”
- Hot Pot – these are ceramic pots that use a small fuel pot for each firing, these are classed as a hazardous substance and only travel by road here in Australia, which slows things down when you run out of fuel. Each firing needs a new fuel pot.
- Beehive or Ultra lite kilns – these are small electric trinket kilns, these little kilns work very well for our kind of small scale jewelry, but be aware that they have no heat control (although I have seen some people put a dimmer switch in)
- The best kiln for the job is one that has a programable firing, you can load the work into the firing chamber and the kiln will beep when it’s finished. There are many brands, sizes and prices for programable kilns, so do your homework if you are considering one of these kilns, they are the most expensive option. I have one of these kilns myself and mine has a window in the door, this gives me a view inside the kiln which is great for fusing glass and enameling
- There are a lot of other firing solutions available, too many to try them all! But over the years I have found that most people who bought some of these, have all gone for a kiln, or back to their little torch!
For my own silver clay work and also for the workshops I teach, I only ever use the little butane torch. It is fast, cheap to use and quick to set up. If you are just starting out, try to get used to one of these little torches before you spend a lot of money on a kiln.
It doesn’t take long to get familiar with firing a torch, even if you are a bit fearful at first, working with a flame!