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Argentium to sterling fusing


#1

Has anybody else tried fusing Argentium sterling to standard
sterling silver? It just occurred to me to try it, and it worked! I
looked to see if I could find any about it, but couldn’t.

I used one of my fluxes which I use for sterling, for the sterling
backing sheet, and then dipped the Argentium pieces in My-T-Flux. I
heated the sterling sheet from underneath, then on top at the last
minute, and they fused beautifully. The Argentium pieces would not
pull off at all.

I don’t know whether anyone would be interested in trying it, or
what circumstances would make it suitable, but I thought it might be
interesting for anyone wanting to use embellishments without the
mess of solder, such as granulation. As for fusing onto sterling back
sheet (as opposed to Argentium), perhaps it would be useful for
those folks whose skin reacts to Argentium, so that it’s just used
for the embellishments.

More experimentation needed methinks. I’m interested to hear whether
anyone else has tried this.

Helen
UK


#2

I haven’t but would appreciate a tutorial on this when you’ve
completed your experiments. There’s not much out there on using the
two metals together. Some say you have to use solder, others say you
can fuse them. I’m a beginner so I’m not sure what can be done.

Michele
MikiCat Designs
www.mikicatdesigns.com


#3
More experimentation needed methinks. I'm interested to hear
whether anyone else has tried this.

Yes, Argentium fuses easily to itself, sterling and fine silver.
That’s as far as I’ve gone.

Jamie


#4

Hi Michele,

You don’t have to use solder at all. Apparently, Agentium will fuse
to a variety of metals, including precious and non-precious. As long
as both metals are up to the right temperature, the Argentium will
wet the joint and act as the solder - as least that’s how I’ve
interpreted the process.

Since starting to make jewellery three years ago, soldering has been
my favourite part of the process, but now I’ve become such a huge
fan of Argentium, that I’m beginning to dislike soldering! I now much
prefer fusing Argentium to Argentium. It fuses so easily and there
isn’t the clean-up associated with soldering. But now I’ve
discovered that it fuses to most other metals, I can use Argentium in
conjunction with the rest of my sterling stock, before using
Argentium exclusively. It’s also great to know that it will fuse with
gold.

Give it a try. I don’t feel experienced enough to be doing
tutorials, and I think it’s more down to personal experimentation,
because we all work differently, so what works for me may not work
for others.

Helen
UK


#5
Argentium fuses easily to itself, sterling and fine silver. That's
as far as I've gone. 

Thanks Jamie. It also fuses to gold as well as silver and its
derivatives - and non-precious metals too! I love Argentium and am
really looking forward to making it my number one metal of choice,
once I’ve worked through my sterling stock.

Helen
UK


#6

Argentium fuses fabulously to many metals. I have successfully fused
Argentium not only to itself and to sterling and fine silver, but
also 18k and 22k gold, copper, and tool steel. I use a yellow flux,
such as Battern’s. I was fortunate to take a class on Argentium from
Ronda Coryell and I highly recommend her dvd set–it covers fusing
Argentium in a very understandable way.

Leslie


#7
As for fusing onto sterling back sheet (as opposed to Argentium),
perhaps it would be useful for those folks whose skin reacts to
Argentium, so that it's just used for the embellishments. 

The above implication I made a few days ago, was completely
inaccurate, so I’m retracting it so that new folks don’t get the
wrong idea about Argentium. I got it the wrong way around. As far as
I know, there are some people who are sensitive to wearing standard
sterling silver, and those people are usually able to wear Argentium
silver with no problems whatsoever. My apologies for misrepresenting
what is a great product.

So far, I’ve loved every experience I’ve had fabricating with
Argentium, and will be buying and using plenty more! I’m looking
forward to using it in conjunction with gold too.

Helen
UK


#8

Helen,

I have tried fusing Argentium with about everything I can think of.
even steel. Argentium is so easy to fuse that I would encourage
everyone to try it. Once you get the hang of it, it is easier than
soldering in many instances. I have had electron microscope analysis
done of Sterling fused down onto Argentium. The sterling has
firescale and the Argentium doesn’t! I continue to do much
experimentation and pushing limits and find the results exciting.


#9

I too like the ease of fusing argentium to argentium. But I often
get an imprint of the texture of my soldering board in the fused area
of the silver. Any suggestions on how to avoid this? Suspending the
pieces helps but isn’t always practical.

Susan Ellenton


#10

Susan,

When fusing Argentium, I have found that the European Compressed
Charcoal Block gives the best results, and believe me, I have
experimented with every soldering surface I can think of. I know
there has been conflicting about the use of charcoal
block when working with Argentium. The compressed block absorbs heat
differently than a standard charcoal block or solderite or soldering
pad. There are some youtube clips about fusing you might check out;
just enter “argentium” or “rondacoryell” and it will bring them up.

Ronda Coryell
Studio Manager/Instructor


#11

Hi Susan,

I don’t recommend suspending when fusing Argentium Silver, (*at this
time), as it is fragile when red hot. I prefer Solderite boards for
fusing. Ronda Coryell prefers charcoal. Both are highly heat
reflective. If you get a texture on the back when using one of
these, the metal has been overheated.

For some quick instructions on fusing, I have a handout on my
website: www.cynthiaeid.com. For details, I recommend Ronda Coryell’s
videos. Even better, take a workshop from Ronda or me.

In July, I’ll be demonstrating during the ACJ-Association of
Contemporary Jewelers Conference in England, at the West Dean
College. I’ll also be teaching a 5-day course in Birmingham, England
that will cover fusing, soldering, annealing, hardening, and
finishing ARgentium Silver as well as microfolding (corrugation)
techniques.

*AS is about to be produced by a new company, with a higher silver
content. This may make it less fragile when red-hot.

I hope this helps!

From Ireland, where I am teaching in Kilkenny this week,
Cynthia
www.cynthiaeid.com


#12

Susan,

I too like the ease of fusing argentium to argentium. But I often
get an imprint of the texture of my soldering board in the fused
area of the silver. Any suggestions on how to avoid this?
Suspending the pieces helps but isn't always practical. 

I’ve had the same situation when I fuse Argentium with the torch
below and the Argentium sitting on mesh. Sometimes I like the design
that forms from the mesh imprint. But, when I don’t want the
imprint, I put the Argentium on a piece of 20 gauge titanium. The
Argentium doesn’t stick to the titanium. With this process, I can
heat from above or below and the Argentium doesn’t slump into any
unwanted shape. One added benefit when heating from below is that I
can tell if I’m getting even heat over the entire area by seeing the
glow/color of the titanium.

Hope this helps.
Jamie