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vyoungman

Glaze Experiment Using Pennies

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My only experience left me with a very black thing on the kiln shelf. Penny was put into a pot in the kiln, ended up cracking through the bottom of the pot and turned into a very charred lump. Looked a little like lava.

 

Now I have to avoid that part of the shelf.

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There was a post in Dec 2012 about what happens to pennies when they are fired in a kiln. They grow into snake like structures. The zinc inside the pennies does some strange things in the kiln.

 

Jed

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That is what happened to the penny in my kiln but without the strange tail.

 

Reminds me of sulfuric acid and sugar experiments.

 

 

 

 

Took me a while to work out how to embed a video. Turns out it was the easiest option  :rolleyes:

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Pennies now are not not made of copper. They are a copper plated alloy of mostly zinc. The penny will be long gone  before cone 5 as indicated by previous posts. You might pull it off with a real nickel, but most of these ate low melting alloys now also.

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I feel I should have explained the links I posted further.  They contain the composition of US and Canadian pennies throughout history.  There are copper pennies in circulation still.  You could track them down by the year of minting.  Again, I'm sorry for not explaining my links further.

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Your link was fine Tyler. The point I was trying to make is that neither zinc or copper will not stand up to cone 5 heat for the length of a ceramic firing cycle. Zinc melts and boils away... not good... and copper turns to a lump of black copper oxide during the long oxidation firing. I have tried to re-fire my copper electroplated pots and it was a disaster.

 

I have not tried nickel. it resists oxidation and has a high melting point. It might be worth a try. If  it works, you could plate it with copper if that is the color you want.

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Zinc melts at 419.5 C.  I've melted copper in the presence of pyrometric cones and it melts at around cone 1-2 and flows around cone 4. The "bronze" of old pennies might melt at a much lower temperature, though (in around cone 06-04 wouldn't be surprising).

 

I would try it on a flat tile first to see if the pennies melt, and  to see if the CoE makes it even possible.  As Colby says, copper inclusions in glass are possible (and common), but they're usually in the form of foil.

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vyoungman:

 

One thing I have tried that might be worth pursuing... I took very fine copper wire from old transformers. and imbedded it in raku glazes and fired it. The copper didn't completely melt and gave interesting green/reds around the wire after it came out of reduction. My guess is the combination of a fast raku fire cycle, the lower temperature attained, and the large amount of boron in the glaze (80/20 GB/Neph Sy) shielded the wire from oxidizing competently.   The down side is that the wire falls off vertical surfaces and it likes to spring out of the glaze. I never tried gluing to the pot first before adding the glaze which might help. This was years ago, and I never did much raku since then. Give it a try and see what you come up with

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That's a thought Peter. Another thing you could do is use a propane torch to heat the copper pad or copper wire to red heat. This kills the temper and it is much easier to bend and doesn't spring back as much. It get's a black copper oxide layer but you will get that anyway.

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