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Hils

What metal can be used in kiln to make flower stems?

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Hi I am in England and want to make some ceramic roses on metal stalks for mothers day.  Can someone tell me what type of metal rods I need and maybe where to get them from ?  Thanks

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I would suggest just leaving an opening, slightly bigger than the rod, in the underside of the rose.  Then glue the stem in, with some strong adhesive, like epoxy.

It will be much less of a headache than;  using the shrinkage rate of your clay to calculate how much bigger you have to make the connection, between the ceramic and metal, figuring out how to fire them, both in the bisque and glaze, hope there is no issue with the metal slumping in the heat and/ or leaving a residue on your ceramic, etc.

 

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Just FYI, metal (kanthal/nichrome) which is sometimes used for holding beads for firing comes out very dull-colored and feels rough after firing and is highly likely to slump/loose shape--i.e. not suggested. Epoxy is the way to go.

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Hi Guys  Thank you all for you responses - yes I guess glueing them in after is probably the safest bet but I will explore the nicrhrome wire  and  look for red poppy items

Cheers all very helpful

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Hi @Hils

I've used stainless steel, ex-bicycle-wheel-spokes as bead-hangers in the kiln, at both ^04 and ^6.  They come out crusty, but after a wire brushing are re-useable for a few fires.

Actually putting wire into clay is a different matter.  Although it might well survive, your clay might not.  Clay and metal expand and contract at different rates, and it is possible that the expanding metal will crack your clay.   In fact, it will probably crack before it's fully dried, so as others have said, glue them in after.

The poppies sold off after the exhibit at the Tower of London in 2014 had a naff metal rod with a nut/washer arrangement.  I didn't buy one, but saw a friends.  I tried to work out how to make something better, but in the end decided not to bother, and my poppy is sitting on a shelf.

Edited by Chilly

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Hi Chilly

Sorry for slow response 

Thanks for that though all advice greatfully received.  I have used some Nichrom ?  Bead hanging rod material and as people say it does bend  quite a lot  Will probably go down the gluing line of thought 

 

Cheers

 

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