Gotta reticulation question am hoping somebody can answer. Is it
possible to reticulate copper?
Just quoting here, not speaking from personal experience or
experiments which, as Peter has suggested, is probably the way to go.
In Tim McCreight’s “Metals Technic” there is a chapter on
reticulation by none other than Heikki Seppa. In the "Theory"
section (p.144) he says:
“… The rich texture of reticulation is not possible on pure metals
but can be achieved on many alloys.”
On the other hand Oppi says on p.337 of “Jewelry Concepts and
Technology” that all the pure metals we commonly discuss here
–copper, silver and gold-- can and have been reticulated, the latter
notably by Faberge.
In any case the Seppa chapter does offer a picture which really helps
clarify the whole reticulation process for me. It shows a metal
sandwich, “parent alloy” in the middle and fine silver on the top and
bottom. But, again as Peter suggested, let’s just take that to mean
that the outer layers melt at a higher temp than the core.
So if it was me looking to do this, and I was willing to shoot for
reticulated bronze or brass (having the possible advantage of being
harder than pure copper and therefore likely to keep it’s textured
surface longer) I’d try something along the lines of electroplating
the metal I want to reticulate with something that melts at a higher
temp, say copper itself or nickel or even silver depending on the
alloy we want reticulated. The plating probably doesn’t have to be
very substantial so any non-durable plating process would probably
Another approach --pure speculation mind you-- might be to stick with
pure copper for the workpiece and plate it with something that melts
well above copper’s 1083C/1981F, say nickel or rhodium. Of course
we’re getting into some serious chemicals here for the plating
process but there you go.
Lastly, and FWIW, I could swear I’ve seen pictures of reticulated
copper (alloy?) somewhere. Unfortunately those examples are out there
in the ether somewhere just now and well beyond my grasp.