Metal Jewelry Making by Using Fusing Techniques to Join Silver Jewelry Supplies Together
Metal jewelry making using the interesting and masterful technique of fusing. In order to accomplish this technique it is important to understand the process.
The gold used in this pendant was fused to the sterling silver before forming the shape in the hydraulic press.
This is just a simple tutorial that will provide you with the basic information. The rest will require practice and experimentation.
Fusing happens when precious metal is heated to high temperatures.
When the metal reaches the melting point there is a small span of time when the outer layers begin to melt (looks like melting butter) and the interior remains solid.
In technical terms you can define the process as; the interior remains “solidus zone” while the surface regions enter the “liquidous” stage. This process allows pieces of metal to fuse or join in welding.
Many metalsmith discover the process of fusion by mistake while soldering or annealing metal.
Because of the random process that is many time controlled by chance, fusing was consider poor craftsmanship.
Today many jewelry artist apply this technique when they explore metal jewelry making.
Making Jewelry - Craftsmanship or Chance?
Even though the degree of fusing is still dependent on chance, it can be controlled to create intentional designs. It is easy to distinguish the skilled work of a jewelry artist in which fusing is used intentionally to create aesthetically pleasing designs, from random work in which fusing is used to mask technique and design inabilities. Remember that the art of metal jewelry making is very precise and requires the use of well developed techniques.
How to use Silver Jewelry Making Supplies when Fusing
Buy unique gold and silver charms or cut interesting shapes from you metal scrap.
Be creative and include unique and geometrical shapes. To add more interest use the rolling mill to texture and print the metal.
Proceed to coat the base sheet with flux before placing the shapes you previously prepared. Take the extra time to make sure that the contact points are well fluxed.
Placing the metal on top of a carbon block facilitates the process by heating the metal more evenly.
Using a small hot flame torch localize the heating into the area that you want to fuse. Use a gentle back and forth motion while evenly heating the entire area. When the metal exhibits the red of the flash point; that is the moment when the surface becomes fluid and shiny. At this point the flame is abruptly removed. This instant chilling causes the metal to contract and draw itself up into ridges.
When several pieces reach the melting point at the same time they may flow together and join permanently. The edges of the different pieces and the base metal tends to draw up on themselves, thus thickening and creating a soft shape that may be smaller than the original piece of metal For this reason it is important to start with a slightly larger piece of metal.
As with other dramatic textures, the effect is often enhanced by using it selectively. You may integrate smooth polished sections with textured pieces or ornament a piece with gemstones. This is where the skill nd design abilities of the jewelry artist will be demonstrated.
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