Monday, July 25, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths Project Blogroll for July

 Its a lazy monday for me and pretty much the only day I really take off from working on jewelry.  But I dont completely take the day off, on mondays I like to do little jewelry experiments.  Today I thought I would try to use the kiln to melt solder on copper.  Copper oxidizes so quickly and larger pieces can be hard to solder because the piece will oxidize before the solder flows.  I though if I could get the kiln up to the solder melting point and put in the copper, the solder would flow before it oxidized. 

Here are the fluxed pieces before putting them in the kiln:

And here's the metal after taking it out of the kiln.  The temp had gone down a bit when the door opened, so that might explain why the solder didn't flow, but it still oxidized like crazy!!  This will take ages to pickle and I think the experiment totally failed.  

While the kiln was hot, I let it get to 1450 and put in some copper disks covered with enamel. 

This was the result.  I think maybe they should have stayed in a bit longer, but I was worried they'd overheat so I didn't want to risk it. 

Then to experiment some more, I torch fired (from below) one of the disks and the enamel melted a bit more and the finish became more even. 

So that was what I've been working on today.  Just some fun stuff to give my mind a break.  Actually since the photos took so long to load, I went back into the studio and did some real work for another hour or so and made some copper flowers.   So overall its been a pretty productive day. 

Check out the awesome artists below and see what they are working on.


Sylvia Anderson said...

Wonderful Julie! I think the enameled copper came out really nice! I've been wanting to try that the bright colors. :)

Jessica @ said...

Julie, I wonder if you heated the kiln to a little below the soldering point, then had it ramp up to temperature if that would work? That way the whole piece will have a chance to heat up before the solder melts. I think it will still oxidize though. Love the enamel. I have been playing with it lately, the color is a lot of fun.

jamauerer said...

Thanks sylvia. The best result just came from torch firing the enamel from below.

Jessica, I could try it. Thanks.

Stacy said...

I've been wondering about soldering with the kiln - I guess it will require some experimentation. I really like the enamel work. And all this productivity even on your day off! Nice work!

Gayle Dowell said...

I love to experiment. I've wasted more metal that way, but I've learned so much from it. Thanks for sharing your failure and well as your successes. Love the enameled pieces!

Gold Charm said...

Your novel techniques and new techniques used does show in the innovative look of the jewelry.It is nice to play with the metals and the creations for better creative pursuits.