Monday, July 23, 2012

Earring Madness

I've been trying to get into a groove with earrings, both metal clay and Argentium. I just keep working back and forth between the two. For Argentium, I'm fusing on fine silver. For the metal clay earrings, I'm working with sterling clay. My kiln is staying very busy between the two. More on the way.

Flower Basket earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
fine silver flower sand leaves fused to Argentium sheet and wire
Dark Flock earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark
sterling silver
Leaf Nest earrings
©2012 Vickie Hallmark sterling silver clay



5 comments:

  1. Hi Vicki.. Thought you might have the answer to this. I have to fuse a large argentium jumpring through a hole in fired sterling clay, also attaching the sterling chain. Since it's a thin gauge and large, I like to heat harden....so the whole thing goes into the kiln for that. Will this cause fire scale on the sterling??? I tried it and pickled and still the sterling seemed a tad discoloured. Any thoughts?

    Sue

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  2. Well, Sue, you are fighting too things against one another. I'd probably try one of two things:
    1) spray the pieces with protector like Firescoff or boric acid/alcohol
    2) try the heat treatment in carbon
    Let me know what you figure out!

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  3. I will Vicki. My initial reaction was to try using carbon....as long as the Arg. gets to 580 it should harden. You would think that I could find out online at what temp firescale occurs, but...nothing. 580 just seems so low for it to happen. I could heat harden lower as well, but, oh well....we'll see. Thanks anyway.

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  4. Sue, I suspect that firescale happens at 580, although slower than at soldering temps, which are more than twice that. From a chemistry point of view, the rate of the reaction depends exponentially on temp. Thus, the standard approach is to protect the surface from oxygen.

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  5. Sue, you're seeing "discoloring" compared to the carbon-fired sterling clay, but does it look worse than fresh pickled sterling sheet?

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