How to make a metal melting ceramic crucible

Written by gabrielle black
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How to make a metal melting ceramic crucible
Crucibles can be created with or without handles. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Melting old jewellery for making into something new or selling can be accomplished if you have a metal melting ceramic crucible. Creating the crucible out of ceramic rather than metal has the advantage of not oxidising over time or scaling and flaking apart. Pottery making skills are necessary to make a durable and dependable ceramic crucible.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Potter's wheel
  • Cone 5 stoneware clay
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Electric kiln

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Grab a lump of clay that fits in the palm of your hand. Work the clay a little to get it warmed up. Throw the lump into the centre of the potter's wheel.

  2. 2

    Drip a little water onto the clay. Center the clay on the wheel by spinning the wheel slowly while pressing the clay downwards and towards the centre of the wheel with both hands. You will know the clay is centred when you view it from above and it doesn't wobble.

  3. 3

    Make the wheelspin fairly quickly. Use the fingers on your right hand to gently press into the centre of the clay while holding your left hand along the edge of the clay. Push the clay with your right hand down and slowly towards your left hand to "open" the clay into a bowl shape.

  4. 4

    Press the clay gently between your hands as you slowly move them up and away from the centre of the wheel. Use even pressure and speed as you do this motion to avoid having variation in thickness in the sides of the bowl. Shape the bowl as desired. Do not make the sides too high or too thin. They should be less than 6 inches high and no less than 1/4 inch thick.

  5. 5

    Wet the sponge and gently run the sponge along the outside and inside of the bowl to smooth it out. Allow the wheel to stop spinning. Bend a small part of the lip of the bowl down slightly to create a pour spout. You can sculpt a handle out of clay, and apply it to the side of the crucible if you so desire.

  6. 6

    Allow the crucible to dry completely. Fire the crucible in the electric kiln at 1,148 degrees C for 7 hours. Allow to cool completely before use.

Tips and warnings

  • Caution should be exercised when firing the crucible in the kiln to avoid injury or explosion.

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