December 6th, 2006

anvil, ring

(no subject)

I'm posting from the studio while I wait for my copper filigree star tree topper to pickle from its last soldering. Yay! I think I can finish it tonight. The pickle is filthy- meaning heading towards a deep blue from dissolved copper salts, as a result of all the pickling of annealed mokume game- so before I change it, I'm going to leave the star in in and intentionally introduce some nice reactive steel. This will cause some of the copper to plate out onto my star, covering the silver solder with a thin coat of plated copper... or that's the plan. This process works miraculously well when it's an accident, but it may decide to be balky when it's what I actually want! Then I will toss it into my big tumbler to get all shiny and, I hope, harder.

And then I will also neutralize the pickle and make up fresh.

I also finished the filigree earrings. I'm hoping J will have a chance to take some pictures in the next couple of days.

I've had a bad cold, so have not felt like arguing/negotiating with my poor rolling mill about the mokume for the last few days. I'm also not easily coming up with original ideas for my next filigree projects; I have some vague ones, but nothing I can start building yet.
anvil, ring

(no subject)

OK, this is weird.

I know I said that I was not necessarily expecting the copper plating to go smoothly. Apparently my studio demons saw this as a challenge. :P

I have nice dirty pickle. I have my copper filigree with silver visible where the solder ran. I have various bits of cheap steel.

Now, in general when one introduces steel into pickle accidentally, everything gets Cu plated instantly, and there is much cursing. Today? Nothin'. So I turned up the heat and left it a while, and fished it out- still nothin'. So then I fished out the steel... which now has a coat of copper on it. WTF????

So now I have both a thimble- used for forming and soldering my plique one- and a cotter pin, both with a funky copper coating that I'll have to burn off so solder won't stick to them... and perfectly silver solder seams on my star.

Ye gods.

I suppose I'll throw the star into the tumbler anyway, because the silver will be somewhat less visible when it's all shiny. And I'll ask J if he has some steel wool and try that. I saved a couple of cups of the dirty pickle when I changed it... Maybe I'll just throw some scrap Cu in it and see if I can get it even dirtier...

Amazing, really!