T is for Ting (AtoZ 2016)

Ting. Ting.

It’s a small sound, but a beautiful one.

Before you fire the metal clay, it’s a light grey colour. After you fire it, it’s white. The change in colour lets you know that it’s been fired, but that’s not a sure-fire indication of whether you’ve fired it enough.

In a kiln, you set a temperature and a time. Assuming that you followed the instructions and your kiln is accurate, you can be fairly confident that your item is completely sintered.

With a torch, I set a timer. But, I can’t measure or set the temperature. So, after the bead cools down, I gently tap it (or drop it from an inch or so above the counter) and listen for the ting that tells me that it’s sintered and is metal, not clay. Obviously, anything hitting a table makes a thump sound, but metal has a second sound, a ting, above the thump that you can hear if you listen.

Not sure what I mean by ting? Take a marble or something similar (but not metal) and gently drop it just above a hard surface. Then take a ring or other small metal item and do the same. You might have to do it a few times, but there’s a subtle difference between the two. The ting.

Sometimes I drop the bead a few times to make sure that I’m really hearing a ting everywhere since a torch doesn’t necessarily heat it evenly and there’s always the chance that it might be sintered in one area and not in another. So far I haven’t had to refire any pieces, but there’s always a moment where I hold my breath as I listen for the ting.

And then I do my happy dance.

What sounds make you happy? Or do you like the sound of silence? :)


  1. Fabulous T! I can see why a kiln is a lot easier, there’s so much to think about doing with a torch!!

    I love the sound of nature when we’re camping, we used to live in the countryside and the sound of the birds was actually deafening, not so fun at 4am in the morning!

    I also love the sound of my bus engine, as 1) it means she’s started but 2) it signifies adventures.

    Thinking about it I like quite a lot of sounds :)

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I’m a bit sensitive to sounds (and smells) so I tend to go for quieter rather than louder. But there are quite a few sounds when you are camping that are beautiful.

      I love the sounds of the birds in the backyard. I don’t think that I could ever get tired of them! I didn’t even mind the sounds of the chickens and roosters that our neighbour had for a while (perhaps just because I was so amused that he had them inside the city. Probably also because they replaced the open compost pit that he had which made sitting in our backyard unbearable if the wind was blowing the wrong way!)

  2. A “sure-fire” indication, I love it! When I dropped my metal water bottle on the tile floor the other day, I heard an enormous “ting”! Then, I created more tings with a hammer to try to make the bottom of the bottle level again, since it kept falling over from too many dents.

    I prefer silence, or the distant sound of the ocean crashing over the reef, or the rustle of the wind in the leaves.

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    1. Ah, that is not the kind of ting that you want to hear! I dropped mine a few months ago and it also had a noticeable lean to it due to the bump in the bottom.

      Leaves rustling in trees is certainly another beautiful sound. :)

    1. I almost wish that there was an easier way to tell, but so far that’s the only one that I have really found. It really is a lovely sound to hear when you are finished though :)

  3. This was gorgeous… The idea of clay changing to metal seems romantic, almost alchemic (yes, I know there’s science behind it, but… well. Magic has its appeal ;) ) and you did a great job of transmitting this here.

    Happy A2Z day off tomorrow—and thanks for the visits over at Life In Dogs… Sorry it’s taken me so long to come visit back (crazy, craaaazy month), but I appreciate every single one of your comments—and I’ll be back to catch up on the A2Z posts of yours I missed :)

    1. The idea of transforming something does have a certain romance to it, doesn’t it :) I was a bit skeptical at first that the beads would be solid enough, but it really does work!

      It has been a crazy month, but only one more week to go!

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