četvrtak, 19. svibnja 2011.

not so precious :)

After working with precious metals for a while, it is sometimes really liberating to work with less expensive materials. Especially now that the prices of silver have risen to the long forgotten levels...

Anyway, I ordered some bronze wire a while ago and started playing with it. It is a phosphor bronze wire –a cooper and tin alloy.

Just a few impressions for those that think about working with it:
- it’s harder than silver, which sometimes isn’t bad (the wire came in dead soft shape but the dead soft bronze is much less softer than the dead soft silver)
- that also makes it harder for soldering – the pin heads don’t come out as nice as with silver (am I doing something wrong? :D )
- there is an additional problem with soldering: I ordered some bronze solder but it’s not working, not reliable at all - silver solder is working perfectly but there is a problem of color then (it might be used for hidden or oxidized spots)
- when oxidized (with chemical that is intended to use on bronze), the liquid and the item appears like it’s rusty – the upper layer patina comes off easily and looks like black dust, but it looks great after the item is cleaned and polished :)))

So, I started to describe the feeling I get when I play (because I feel as I really can play) with less expensive materials. It’s not so burdening, like I don’t have such a respect for it as I do for silver. I started working with silver several years ago, I’d say around four, and I haven’t been using many non-precious materials since then. I would sometimes take some hobby wire, but those are usually plated, so it’s easily scratched and damaged, whether in the creation process or later. And I don’t like it.

This one is not plated or color coated, it has a nice color, it looks great when oxidized (I am an oxidizing freak) and it’s not so expensive as silver.

So I played with it yesterday and I’m really satisfied with the result. It's kind of chaotic, which is not really typical for my structured self ;)
Yay! Summer on the way :)

četvrtak, 5. svibnja 2011.

How it is sometimes a bad idea to risk with experiments

I'm really prone to experimenting and risk taking in making decisions!
So I was in a very good mood recently to try making a vintage-style key necklace with a Swarovski pendant...
It seemed like a perfect idea to oxidize it at the end to achieve that vintage style that I love so much.

(Btw. al my jewelry pieces are oxidized – I wonder if that’s smart?!)

I even tested the Swarovski after already making the pendant – I immersed another one in the patina liquid to see whether it would react but nothing happened.
Yay, celebration!!!

But then I put the silver wire-wrapped pendant with the Swarovski in the liquid and I was so confident that I let it swim for a little longer.
When I noticed small metal particles floating around, I knew something was wrong :(

And after I took the pendant out of the patina, I could notice the sad change... the crystal lost at least a half of its previous shine...

It looks good to me anyway; it’s just not something I would sell to someone, except someone explicitly asked for it, knowing about this tragic story ;)

So here’s the final picture and I’ll add the original pendant picture as well.

The lesson to be applied (as my favorite band, Pearl Jam would say) – Swarovski and oxidizing chemicals are not what you would call best buddies!!!
Bear that in mind :)