Now that I'm addicted to bronze metal clay, I've noticed it can warp while drying. I tried turning it while it's drying but it can still warp. So what's a bronze metal clay addict to do? The best remedy for warping is to hammer your bronze metal pieces on a steel bench block after you take it out of the kiln. But which hammer to use?
dun-da-la-dum-da-la-dum ---- RAWHIDE!
No, I don't remember watching the t.v. show, I remember the SNL skit where John Belushi sang the theme song to Rawhide.
Digression aside, I always wondered when you'd use a rawhide mallet. Now I know. You use a rawhide mallet on metal you don't want to mar. You can use a wood mallet but a rawhide mallet is heavier than wood. I pound the bronze pieces with the rawhide mallet to flatten the bronze metal clay pieces to smooth out any warping. Bronze isn't as soft as copper or brass so I have to pound a few extra times.
So now if you're thinking, "That's just the tool I need!" - here are a few sources for Rawhide mallets:
The rawhide mallets shown above are from the Contenti Company;
Rawhide and plastic mallets at the Hammer Source;
Rio Grande Jewelry Supply.