Saturday, 20 July 2013

California Bound

July 20

Sold a pair of square sterling studs from my etsy shop <> yesterday (see photo below) and am going to ship them to California today.

The background portions of these are cut from reticulated sterling silver. I love the textures you can get by this method and must prepare some more reticulated silver soon.

Reticulation is not a technique I choose to play with on a hot day, however. The method involves repeatedly torch heating a sheet of silver to annealing temperature. You do this at least eight times, pickling the sheet after each heating. Warm work ;-) but it brings a thin layer of pure silver out of the alloy and deposits it on the top of the sheet. The final step is to heat the piece until that thin layer of silver begins to melt. You use your torch to move that layer of molten silver into ripples and ridges. If you are really skilled with torches, you can hold the melt with a large flame while using a mini torch to move the surface.

Below are some other pieces I made with reticulated silver.

I topped a polished bar with a swirl of reticulated sterling and bezel-set a garnet cabochon for this pendant. The bail is hand-forged from silver wire.
To make these earring, I cut polished silver studs and hung the reticulated squares under them. I love the contrast between the smooth and rough surfaces.

The reticulated discs below are one of my favorite examples of using polished and rough textures together. I really should make some more like them!