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Note to metals geeks: argentium fuses very well. Very, very well.… - Metals Geekery

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My artisan metalsmithing site
My original Celtic designs in various media, including jewelry
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February 17th, 2007


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05:56 pm
Note to metals geeks: argentium fuses very well. Very, very well.

This is not always good.

To wit: I had this interesting notion of making a set of crow-themed scent lockets using argentium, and using fusing instead of soldering as the construction technique of choice. This particular design has only 3 soldering steps- though one's a very tricky one- so it seemed like a reasonable place to experiment.

I'm glad I started with the small one, because it fused. Oh, yes. Not only did the bit fuse that I wanted to fuse- the back fused onto the front, and firmly and cleverly enough that there is no extricating the one from the other. (They were not supposed to fuse. The only thing that was supposed to fuse was the pivot that hold them together, which was supposed to fuse to the front only and not the back. Hmph.) So- more argentium scrap, and I'm taking more care- and using a lot of white-out as a flow resist- and I hope to get #2's pivot fused tomorrow. Or else I'll just go with the solder, though I am not at all happy with the color match of argentium solders. (But I've complained about that before.)

I did make progress on a commission piece, and did various tasks on the fabrication of 3 "poison rings"- i.e. rings with integral lockets. These are a part of my work on making more hinges, and getting more comfortable with the things.

I did not work on my second pair of Lotus plique-a-jour earrings, which are near completion, nor did I do anything on the filigree butterfly pendant which I'd really like to finish soonish. Ah, well- there's always tomorrow. Assuming I can resist the siren song of the poison rings. :)

Note on the prices for the plique-a-jour for which I've posted pictures recently: Plique takes a LOT of time and work. Making the framework generally takes quite a few hours; then each tiny cell needs to be filled with powdered glass and fired a number of times- usually not less than 5. Then, when all the cells are full, the piece is ground down to give a smooth surface for the metal, then re-fired to smooth out the glass, then the metal is polished and any stones are set. Then there's the final polishing.

That's why it costs a lot- it's a fairly insane amount of work (albeit to a glorious result!). Check out Diane Almeyda's site for more pretty pictures, and the prices asked.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:beadoodles
Date:February 19th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
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I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your studio. I'd learn so much!
[User Picture]
From:afmetalsmith
Date:February 20th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
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I wish we could hang out, too! It'd be such fun. :)

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