Yesterday's blog entry featured a photo of scrap sterling silver that I've collected over time during the process of creating jewelry. The first recycling method I described is called fusing.
Fusing is what happens when pieces of metal are heated to their melting point. They start to combine like two drops of water where they touch. Eventually, the metal will combine to form a perfect ball. The trick is to stop the heating process somewhere in between, when the parts combine but the design has not melted away.
For this pendant, I chose some interesting pieces from my scrap sterling silver pile. After arranging them in a stacked, overlapping shape that I liked, I hit the piece with a torch flame until they fused. And by the way, that melting point is a toasty 1640 degrees (F).
Let me know what you think of it!
This is not a precision technique, but it's great if you're after a fun, artsy, free form piece. (Usually, silver is connected using tiny pieces of silver solder that melt at a lower temperature than the silver it is connecting.) Metal tends to take unexpected shapes during the fusing process as pieces start to melt. Smaller wire will shrink up quickly, curving or balling up. The curve at the bottom of this piece was an unexpected bonus, perfect for hanging a couple of pretty Swarovski crystal beads.
Stop back soon. Next time I'll show you what scrap sterling silver looks like after being melted in an in-home studio, and a pendant made from that recycled silver.
1/24/2011 12:45:33 am
Sue - I like the pendant! And I agree that you get neat results using leftovers. Every now and then I try to clean out my scrapbooking leftovers and get some nifty combinations that I would not have thought of. :-)
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Sue Lacy Wired
This began as a hobbyist's blog.
Over time it became a quest to support & connect metalsmiths around the globe who use foldforming techniques in their work.
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