Saturday, June 2, 2012

quick follow up to 'silver'

mary jane dodd


last week, staci posted an informative article about silver-filled (vs. silver-plated) wire, sheet and chain...

i have soldered the wire and thought i would show you the result... it's beautiful and there is no outward indication that the wire is filled with base metal... 

while i didn't finish the test, when i went to ball end with butane, the silver started to move, but not the core... the ball end will not be comparative in look to a sterling or fine silver wire ball end... the metals will end up mixing... different metals have different melting points, requiring different flame temps to work them... therefore you need to find the highest one needed for the job... 

rio grande has in its description that the core is 90% copper, 10% zinc (brass, more specifically a red brass)... silver has a melting point of 1760*, copper 1983*... a finer wire  would be able to be balled in butane, i only had 16 gauge... but you really have to play and do the experimenting... 

i do feel very strongly though that people need to know - and pricing should reflect accordingly... this new option should not end up hurting those silversmiths who choose to use their metal of choice - which is more expensive... on the flip side, it will allow those of us who may be working with a smaller budget to add more silver into our work - a very exciting prospect... especially in the area of having sheet metal available that way... 

it's like some of the innovations that are becoming available and rival traditional techniques... there is a riveting system which is terrific and makes setting rivets effortless... i think it is great, really... but there are those makers who will continue to set rivets from wire - this takes time and a developed skill level... and should add to the value of the piece... 

there are two sides to everything... so it's just something to consider... 

and i do love the silver-filled wire/sheet/chain - it's a great alternative... thanks to staci for starting the conversation...


just found this video @ rio -







10 comments:

stacilouise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libby Leuchtman said...

Thank you thank you! I was going to do some research on this today and your post really helped. I am off to my local bead store to buy some!

Spirited Earth said...

thank you for sharing..i'm very interested to try the silver filled wire(and chain)..
i've always though of silver as a summer metal, beautifully contrasting summer tans and cool beachy colors.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thanks, Maire. I am going to have to get some. I started my interest with wire using all sterling. Like others, it just go too expensive to keep up with. Thanks for pointing out why there may be price differences. I love those pieces that you made :0)
MaryAnn

lunedreams said...

Thanks for the info about soldering! Are those the links pictured? It looks like you can hammer it to an extent as well without damaging the plating? I've used it a little but have shied away from hammering it at all. Can you share what this riveting system is??? (Sounds like my kind of thing!!)

Libellula Jewelry said...

I've heard that it can be really interesting for etching but my preferred method (electrolytic) doesn't etch silver. So, I'll have to bite the bullet and try acid etching some.

Cindy Pack said...

Thank you for this post Mary Jane! I am interested in trying some too. I think budget or no budget- it would just be nice to have a variety of price ranges for my customers. I have been a silver snob- but realize that you can make beautiful jewelry out of any material. And I'm sure many of my customers would feel the same way- so I need to move past the blocks I have had with the sf products and give it a try!
Keirsten mentioned plating- it's not really plated is it? I don't really know anything about it- but plating is something different, yes? Thanks for your info and can't wait to see what you create next! :)

Almost Precious said...

With the cost of precious metals continuing to sky rocket, silver filled is a cost effective alternative.
It's nice to learn that it can be soldered without having the base metal core bleeding through. Thanks for the wonderful information.

Gallery 13 - Lela Bouse-McCracken said...

Thanks so much for all this valuable user info.

stacilouise said...

thanks for sharing how this turned out. I will be trying to solder it soon too. I wholeheartedly agree that as designers, we should disclose that this is not sterling silver to our customers. great advice!

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