Try something new.........
2nd March 2021
I hope you all continue to do well.
Luckily, it’s been a very busy time – I’ve been working on a number of commissions and sending out orders for Mother’s Day presents. Whilst not the only thing ordered, this little necklace has been a really popular choice.
It is two entwined sterling silver rings, one larger than the other. Both rings have been hammered at one side to give texture – just this little addition gives the rings a sparkle with movement.
I've wondered about the idea of
Mother & Daughter jewellery. It
symbolises unbreakable bonds,
strength, durability and empowerment. However, I cannot find anything of substance about the origins of the idea so I suspect that it was started by a jewellery brand.
If you know anything different, do let me know.
In the last blog I mentioned a process called depletion gilding. It has many uses but is particularly used as part of the enamelling, keum boo or reticulation processes to prevent the oxides in the copper from ie., contaminating the colour of the enamel or compromising the gold in keum boo. It involves heating a piece of silver repeatedly – about 8 – 10 times – but it can vary. You gently heat the piece, using a soft bushy flame, until you see a little colour – tarnish – then remove the heat and put the piece in the pickle pot. You should hear a gentle hiss. When pickled (the tarnish gone) remove from the pot and quench. It is essential to then dry the silver thoroughly before repeating the process or the application of heat will create a watermark that will be incredibly difficult to get rid of.
What this process does is repeatedly bring the copper content of the sterling silver to the surface and then the acid, in the pickle pot, removes it. You end up with a piece of jewellery or working sheet that has had a layer of pure silver brought to the surface. You are then able to use it as you would fine silver.
This is a little video showing the process, and a picture of the silver after the process has been repeated 8 times – see how frosty white the silver is. It is not a difficult process but can be tedious, so I tend to do it whilst also having something else on my bench to work on.