March 14th, 2007

enamel, pendant, smiley, cloisonne

(no subject)

I think I am about to head into the studio and mess with my hex settings again. Yesterday I rolled out some silver really thin, and made wee shims to fill much of the gaps between the smaller and the larger telescoping tubing. As a proof of concept this worked great! but I'm concerned that I may have rolled the shims too thin, and so think I will try again with ones that resemble foil a bit less. One way or another, I should be able to solder up the test today or tomorrow, and we shall see if it solves the Mysterious Tubing Shrinking Problem! (I'm sure it will, but the tighter the shimming is, the better.)

Argentium: Also, I've heard back from some argentium experts, and it seems that the firescale was user error- though I did stump them for a bit! I'd soldered much of the pieces on a charcoal block... and while that is (according to many) a Good Thing for sterling in general, it's not for argentium. The germanium oxide coating that protects it relies on oxygen to create itself- and charcoal sucks up the O2 (which is normally ideal, since else it mixes with the copper and creates firescale) so the germanium has nothing to react with. Makes sense to me, and no more argentium on charcoal here! though now I need to find some other soft soldering block that I can pin into, to align pieces for soldering...