This has transformed my success rate with copper clay. I found that firescale was almost impossible to remove and that some items weren't sintered properly. When I started using this and a longer firing schedule I've had 100% success.
Magic Carbon is a special activated carbon firing media, which is reliable for all brands of copper, bronze and silver clays. It can be re-used over and over, until it breaks down (which is a slow process).
Not all carbons are the same. Some carbons won't work at all for firing metal clay, others will give you a handful of good firings before they are spent, some will work for one kind or brand of clay and not for another, but Magic Carbon is pre-tested for all brands of bronze, copper and silver clays and fires any thickness.
Carbon is used to create oxygen reduced environments, allowing successful sintering of metal clays. Some metal clays, in particular copper and bronze, are buried in activated carbon during firing to avoid the creation of fire-scale, that is difficult to remove from the surface of the fired metal. Fire scale, or fire-stain, is created when copper is heated in the presence of oxygen. Carbon is used as a firing media for copper-based clays because one of it’s properties in the ability to absorb oxygen.
New Magic Carbon needs to be primed before firing. Follow these simple instructions to prepare a new pan of carbon:
1. Fill your stainless steel firing pan with Magic Carbon, leaving about 1” headspace.
2. Place the uncovered firing pan on posts in the kiln. (If your kiln has a peephole, plug it).
3. Fast ramp to 1650F (900°C), and hold for 30 minutes. Leave the kiln undisturbed until the interior temperature is 300F (150°C) or less.
4. Remove your firing pan from the kiln and place on a trivet until the outside of the pan is cool enough to touch.
5. The carbon is now ready to use.
(When topping off an existing batch, a layer of 1” or less added to the top of the pan does not need priming).
Download full instructions for Magic Carbon here!
Choose between two different sizes:
Small = Approx. 450-460g bag
Large = Approx. 2300g (2.3kg) large bag packed in a carboard box
PLEASE NOTE: Actual weight might vary slightly from bag to bag and box to box
PLEASE NOTE: carbon can be dusty, so please take the relevant precautions when handling. When using a new type of carbon, clay or kiln, it is always recommended to do test strips from your metal clay to gauge the correct firing temperature and time. There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a gorgeous piece, to only have an unsuccessful firing ruin it.
As a newcomer I also ordered the other carbons in addition to Magic, so far the results have been great and although I keep thinking about trying the other carbon types I always play safe with my experience of great results from this type Although not part of product review I would like to mention that I have found the effort that's gone into the metal clay.com website fantastic, a great level of detail which has helped answer many questions for me, who is new to this hobby which will self fund through craft sales
I wasn't sure about spending the extra on this magic carbon but was inspired to try it by all the great reviews its received. I've not been disappointed! I use it with a foil box and its perfect, clean with very little if any waste, protects all metal clays beautifully, can see I'm going to get a lot of firings before it needs changing. Will be my only choice for carbon in the future.
What can I say that others haven't. For me I have never had a bad fire.I use it primarily for Bronze and Copper firing and it does last and last. I only brought more recently so that when I take one pan out of my kiln I can put another in its place and be more efficient!
I love this stuff- its a bit more expensive but it lasts and lasts. A warning though: I use magic carbon for firing sterling silver clay and I have found that this carbon stays quite hot so it is wise to fire sterling clay at a lower temperature. Do test strips by all means as all kilns are different but I have found that I need to fire at around 790c for 40-45mins rather than the recommended 815c.
Fab cant praise enough