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MariaPolky

I put a penny in the kiln- but what in the world happened?

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It's the zinc ash as it burned off in the kiln. I know because of past experience/experiment: I fired some galvanized wire mesh with window glass on top and got the exact plumes you did. I only hit 1750 F, but it was still hot enough for the zinc to burn out. I got pictures of it... somewhere. Way cooler than the experiment.

 

 

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For what it's worth, good to note that Zinc's boiling point is only ~1650F, and Zinc vapors are mega bad for you... So only do this if your kiln is well ventilated.

 

 

I'm wondering if it does have something with the boiling of the zinc, and the small amount of copper. It looks much like the 4th of July smelly snakes that grow out of a small tablet. The oxidation causes gasses to rise, and form a snake like form. I think this may be happening here.

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I was wondering that the zinc might be fluxing something when I first saw it, but I to quickly assumed the structures coming out of the trays were testing probes or something put in after the firing. Now, my guess would be that you are growing crystals. I would guess that the narrow tops are from the lower energy level of the early vapor condensation and accretion on I guess a crystal imperfection, then when the material became more energetic the diameter expanded to allow the molecules to order themselves accordingly. The structure has to be light enough to be lifted by the surface tension of the source material. But, that is a very uneducated guess. Beyond that, wow, how cool!

 

Joel.

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I've worked in 3rd level art school, ceramics,for about 30 years and have seen some strange shite; this one, however goes straight up there to the top of the 'Beats me' board. Very strange, interesting, baffling even! Now to try it with some Irish coins (we still have a few to spare) and see what happens.....maybe I'll get a shamrock?

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hey, i know im coming into this conversation kind of late, but i hope this is the kind of forum that bumps new posts in old topics up to the top. I just had to go someplace with high speed internet and make an account on here specifically for this, because I too wondered what would happen to pennies in the kiln, and after doing it and getting similar results i thought, i should google that and see who else has done it, and i found this. it really is surprising that more people havent done this. anyway, i wanted to add my pictures of the funk. 

 

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this is cone 6, and there is a little bit of glaze under each penny, i just noticed how huge this picture is... i did break the longest coolest thingy taking it out. put that on a t-shirt! hahaha. but the three out front sort of turned into little mid-evil maces.

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way back in the 70's i put a penny on a shelf.  it went halfway through the shelf and left a black molten lava looking mess behind.  that was at cone 6.

 

i want the shirt.  especially if the attribution is included.

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I tried this too. It works great. 

I used lots of different pennies and came up with some very cool sculptural explosion. I only went to cone 06, and tried it three different times.

Here is what I got.

 

I would love a chemical explanation of why this happens! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!! :)

Kat

 

post-63600-0-17135800-1401220516_thumb.jpgpost-63600-0-64024500-1401220483_thumb.jpgpost-63600-0-58349100-1401220332_thumb.jpgpost-63600-0-81677400-1401220331_thumb.jpgpost-63600-0-75528900-1401220330_thumb.jpg

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post-63600-0-17135800-1401220516_thumb.jpg

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Umm... It looks like one or two of those tubes went into your element's groove. That's really not good, and could potentially damage the element depending on what the substance is made of. Just be careful with this experimentation.

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I tried this too. It works great. 

I used lots of different pennies and came up with some very cool sculptural explosion. I only went to cone 06, and tried it three different times.

Here is what I got.

 

I would love a chemical explanation of why this happens! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!! :)

Kat

 

attachicon.gifb.jpgattachicon.gifa.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20140520_143233_297.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20140520_133500_409.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20140511_140456_040_zpse49074ad.jpg

Most pennies in circulation are copper plated zinc.  You made zinc oxide.  Via the french process to be exact.  Zinc vaporizes in the kiln and reacts with the oxidizing evironment, and you get solid zinc oxide that doesn't decompose until much hotter.  The unique shapes, I think, come from the way the kiln heats up and vaporizes the zinc.

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post-78016-0-46587500-1466451095_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-73681900-1466451097_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-27481200-1466451097_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-83385600-1466451096_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-39310400-1466451096_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-93289200-1466451095_thumb.jpgpost-78016-0-46587500-1466451095_thumb.jpg

 

Awesome post MariaPolky and happy to see others have tried this experiment.  I've been dabbling with this for a few years now but all my experiments have been low fire with glaze and glass and without glaze or glass just the pure pennies.  Here's a few shots of the early pieces i made with pennies, i have still to take some shots of the newer pieces and will post later on.... for now, cheerio and kudos!!!!

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post-78016-0-83385600-1466451096_thumb.jpg

post-78016-0-27481200-1466451097_thumb.jpg

post-78016-0-73681900-1466451097_thumb.jpg

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