Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wire and Fire - Part 3 - Tumblers

Work In Progress - Silver Links

It's compelling, mesmerizing, to start in on creating the links. To watch the silver glow, grow red, glossy, and then the moment of fusion.

But before that, here are some before, during and after photos of the finishing process. It's good to know what the end goal is, before starting the fusing, gives structure and direction. So that the links created are the ones you wanted.

The first photo is of fused links, work hardened and hammered to texture, but not patinaed. The natural fine (.999) silver color. Because the fine silver doesn't need to be pickled to remove firescale, the links will remain that beautiful shiny silver color.

If you are looking for a more vintage, antique look, or just want the texture to show where the links have been hammered, a patina needs to be applied to darken the bright silver.

The second photo is two strands of links, one a 3-oval chain and the other a 5-oval chain, that have been darkened with liver of sulphur, see the darkening and the variation in color on the metal.

The third photo is the 5-oval chain after tumbling with steel shot in a tumbler for 30 minutes. Still patinaed, but bright on the highest points, darkened in the crevices.

Tumbling also hardens the silver. When it's heated to fuse, it anneals the metal, makes it very soft. Hammering to texturize hardens it, and so does tumbling.

Still in the tumbler is the 3-oval chain, after almost an hour tumbling, to brighten even further.

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