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JennyM

embellishing mexican typre tree of life

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I would like to make Mexican Tree of Life  types of candelabras etc.  Many have leave and birds etc on wire hanging off main piece. Does anyone know what kind of wire is used and if it is attached before or after firing?

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Fire separately and wire together after.  Crazy thing happens to wire in the kiln, it gets all nasty black/gray and brittle at the best, at the worst it spalls and breaks apart.  I tried making a few wire handles for lids after seeing some on Instagram but no matter what I tried the texture on the wire was icky to me and apparently that doesn't come across on photos.  So I'm done with wire in a kiln, just hasn't been worth the trouble (especially if you can avoid it)

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@JennyM, if the attachments were just small and not too heavy you could use Kanthal kiln element wire. It does change from a shiny finish when the wire is unfired to a matt grey but I haven't found it spalls when fired just once and it's still really strong, no way could I bend it without pliers. Close up below of a piece of kanthal in the top of an oil bottle, cone 6. I've fired a test piece up to cone 10 in a soda kiln and it looked the same. (I'm guessing you will be using low fire clay so it should work better than mid or high fire)

IMG_2921.jpg.96d7d9579324e7dd8bf0cc3cf27aa97b.jpg

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Tho it doesn't break, at cone 6 and I don't like the unfinished look of the dark dull grit texture. It does OK for me if for joining something where it is not real visible but that situation usually lends itself just as well to planning on using wire after the pieces are fired. 

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