Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Embedding Wire into Sterling Metal Clay

I totally love the new sterling clay! The idea that I can embed sterling posts for earrings or pearls or other attachments is just so appealing.

Double Leaf Earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling silver
These are the latest sterling earrings in my collection, with double leaf-textured leaves, coil/snake stems and embedded sterling wire posts. 2 1/2" long. Strong, sturdy, work-hardened! With the glow of sterling that is so much warmer than fine silver.

Double Leaf Earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling silver

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Do you still fire at 1500? I know the soldius melting point is lower, but the liquid one is higher? Do you think argentium would work?

    Sue

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  3. Yes, I did still fire at 1500.

    I have not yet embedded Argentium wire.

    I see different numbers on the solidus & liquidus from different sources, so I'm not clear if the range is really larger or not. Not really relevant for us, since we don't want to get to the point of being completely melted. In general, it seems that Argentium might need the temperature reduced a bit, perhaps 40F or so. WIll the sterling clay still sinter at the lower temp? I suspect so, but only tests will tell.

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  4. Thanks Vickie. I think what threw me was when you said in a previous post that you broke off one of your posts. That made me think that the silver was very brittle.....and I didn't think that work hardening would 'un-brittle' it. Make sense? I should get off my butt and experiment, was just happy to know you were doing it for me:)

    Love your work.

    Sue

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  5. No, I don't think it is brittle. I think I just didn't hold the stem/post while I twisted it, like I was supposed to, so all the torque went into the joint instead of distributing along the entire wire. It broke in the wire part, not the metal clay part.

    On these, I put on enough force while rounding off one post end to bend the already hardened wire over at a right angle. It straightened back out without issue and then I twisted it some more to get it stronger. No breaking.

    I've been wearing the first pair of earrings daily for weeks now...no issues.

    Happy to help! ;-) The admiration is mutual.

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