by Pam East
Let me share the method I’ve been using with gold paste with excellent
1. After firing the piece, do NOT brush or tumble. Leave it the way it
comes out of the kiln (or torch)
2. Apply a thin layer of Art Clay Silver Overlay paste to the areas
where you want to apply the gold and allow it to dry. ACS Overlay paste is
formulated to create a permanent bond with vitreous surfaces, and I’ve found
it’s excellent for creating a strong bond with fired silver as well. I always use it as a sort of “glue” when I’m adding new elements to a fired piece and I get great results.
3. Apply two thin layers of gold paste (either Art Clay Gold Paste or
Aura 22 will work), allowing them to dry between coats. Don’t apply it too
thickly or it will be more likely to peel off.
4. Use a torch to fire the gold paste. Bring the silver to the
customary “salmon pink” stage, and the gold areas to a glowing orange stage.
There is no need to hold this temperature for any length of time. As soon as
the gold is glowing, shut off the torch. The gold may appear uneven or
“peeled back” in spots at this point. Don’t worry about it, it’s going to
look great when it’s done.
5. Holding the piece steady with bent nose tweezers, use a ball tip agate burnisher to burnish the gold. Again, it may still appear uneven.
That’s ok. Stay with me..
6. Once the piece has cooled to a point where you can hold it in your
hand, use a wire brush to brush the gold areas. Now is when you’re going to
see the gold really the way it should be. If you’ve followed the preceding
directions, using the ACS Overlay paste between the fired silver and the
gold paste, you will not remove the gold with the brush.
7. Tumble for anywhere from half an hour to 2 hours. I have never
tumbled off the gold when using this method. Once I forgot a piece in the
tumbler for over 5 hours and it still came out looking fantastic!
“Bamboo” Pendant is (c) 2008 Pam East All Rights Reserved.
Image reprinted with permission.