Sunday, December 7, 2008

Silver headaches

The pieces I made before today were assembled with a solder made of a silver/tin alloy. This afternoon, I began learning how to work with nearly pure silver.

The bugger of this is controlling the heat. The silver and the silver solder used to build it have melting temperatures within a few degrees of each other. Imagine applying heat to the work piece, Approaching it with a dab of silver on a pick, and having the whole mess slag out and fade away. GRRRrrrrrr....

This moss agate pendant has a 'spider' mounting made entirely of silver. It qualifies as sterling, meaning .925 pure. The wire is 16 gauge round stock, a relatively inexpensive jewelers silver sold by the gram. It's fine for me to work with as I learn, but there is half round and flat bezel st
ock singing it's siren song.... hanging on the rack waiting for me to learn the ways of silver. Later, some fancy lace stock sold by the inch, and not cheaply.

I'm learning..... I'm


Anthony said...

That's a really cool piece of jewelry you got there. Good job

Old NFO said...

Stupid question... being pure silver, is it actually strong enough to not lose it's shape/bend?

Shrugged said...

Brigid, Anthony.... Thank you!

Old NFO.... Not a stupid question, but an astute one. Pure silver would be too soft, but sterling is not. That 5ppt makes all the difference in the world.

Even so, I'd dare not use a thinner wire for the mount. I like minimal construction on mountings, just enough to do the job. This one is a stretch in that regard. Rough treatment would bend the tines.