I have been playing with the Argentium Sterling. I do a lot of Fold
Forming and Forging. I was having a problem with the pieces fusing
together when I annealed them before opening the forms. Working in
low light and using a marker pen was not making a difference. Lost 5
out of 6 pieces. The small sizes, thinness of the hammered material,
and subtle color at annealing temperature proved to much to over
come. My engineer friend suggested coating the metal with diluted
Chinese White (water color pigment) before folding and hammering.
This put the coating on the inside. We figured this would work
because the coating holds up well for surface marking when engraving
and chasing. (We had just run a Chasing and Repousse class). The Gum
Arabic vehicle seems to make the coating quite flexible.
Coated, folded, hammered, annealed, hammered some more, annealed
again, and opened the forms. No fusing! The Gum Arabic vehicle burns
off leaving the Titanium Oxide layer between the metal surfaces. This
layer is water soluble and cleans up instantly with a tooth brush. I
did several pieces and forms. So far, no more problems with fusing,
even when I deliberately overheated the pieces. Happy camper.
I have several other suggestions from Peter Johns that I will try in
the next couple weeks and report on them.
I did not use Yellow Ochre because it is SO messy and I felt that the
powder, after heating, would force its way into the metal surface.
I love how this metal moves under the hammer. Like clay in the
fingers. You can move it so much more between annealing.
During “show and tell”, everyone commented on how much whiter this
material seems to be.