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DAMASKOS jewelry GOLD DUST for filigree and granulation


#1

Hello!
Anyone knows what DAMASKOS jewelry makers are using for granulation and filigree soldering/fusing in the video below:


They call it “GOLD DUST”. Any modern analogs of this substance?
They also making black gold which has beautiful texture. They call it micro-hammering. Do you know what kind of tool could be used for that?
Thank you!


#2

Hi Ninalara,

  1. The dish of what they call “GOLD DUST” is the standard filigree combination of powdered solder mixed with powdered borax (notice he said it has a lower melting point than the gold of the piece). You can make powdered solder by filing it, or you can buy it ready made. I believe there was an Orchidian named Beth (?) who was selling powdered solder with various melting points. Traditional powdered solder has a lowish melting point.

  2. If you stop the video on the closeup of the ring (at 0:34), you can see the ‘granules’ appear to be a single stamped or cast piece rather than individual granules like we see in the video. Note that the balls are connected by relatively thick round wire joining them rather than touching each other as they would be in filigree or granulation. As an historical point, it is interesting to note that while the company’s designs are inspired by ancient Greek filigree, their wire is MUCH thicker and their granules are MUCH larger than traditional Greek filigree (both ancient and modern).

  3. Texturing (such as micro-hammering) is traditionally done on the background sheet of cast filigree. In handmade filigree, any exposed bits of background would be smooth because the filigree work is done on top of finished sheet. But in a casting, ‘smooth’ sheet is not smooth unless you can polish it, and in filigree, the bits of sheet showing are not accessible for polishing. For this reason, the background is usually textured in various ways to have a uniform background, i.e., to mask the signs of cast sheet. This is usually done in any type of cast jewelry that has inaccessible sheet.

  4. For a close look at the company’s work, see athenas-treasures.com and the DAMASKOS Facebook page. Note particularly the background sheet on pieces that have not been micro-hammered, and the connections between the balls.


#3

It’s Beth Katz beth@myuniquesolutions.com She is very reasonable and good


#4

A post was merged into an existing topic: New & improved site


#5

I agree. We are all very visual people.

Noralie


#6

Thank you. So these are actually cast pieces, not hand fabricated. In the video they say, that their things are handmade and even mention, that apprentice pre-solder granulated parts into geometric forms ready to be places on a piece. On the other hand you would expect, that mass production like that probably would create original pieces manually and then cast them, like for example John Hardy or Luis Hill.


#7

Thanks again. Here is another Greek designer sold by Athena Treasures:

How do you think he created these melting edges? I would be disappointing to know that it’s a cast again.

Barbara Heinrich is making similar edge. I would be very interested to learn the technique. They call it hammered edge, not sure how you can hammer it like that, It is a little bit thicker at the edge…

http://themuse.lmrpr.com/barbara-heinrich/


#8

Hi,
I’m not sure about their application without having a piece in my hand, but, I do this process in my shop with a torch (Micro torch) It takes a bit of practice but it’s actually quite controllable on golds, (any) and platinum. Lousy on sterling or brass but doable on fine silver (just my experience). The body of the metal acts like a heat sink, the edges (outer rim) will naturally heat more quickly and melt /glob (if you stay too long). The flame wants to come low and from the front, A slightly reduced flame works well if the area is well fluxed. Use a smallish tip, & the metal will pull toward the flame. It becomes quite controllable with a bit of practice. You won’t (most likely) be able to do this with a Prestolite though. A good mix would be oxy/propane /nat gas or Map gas. Acetylene might be a bit tougher.
My thoughts .
JIm


#9

Just thinking this through a bit more.
This process requires rather thin sheet, 18, 19, 20 ga. (or thinner) will work quite well. 16 ga, though, will (probably) require that the edges be thinnned out a bit and the edge melt will be smaller. Not saying it can’t be done with heavier stock, just that the heat dynamics start to change as the material gets thicker, the center becomes a heat dwell rather than a heatsink, holding, rather than dissipating the heat and the metal will then tend to slump down rather than follow the flame forward.
Thanks, Jim


#10

This edge is not hammered. It is done with a short hot flame. Like everything else, there is a learning curve. Have fun. Tom


#11

Please note that I did not say that this company sells cast pieces. I described artifacts which are characteristic of cast work and called attention to visuals on the site which appear to exhibit these artifacts. The reader is free to draw his own conclusions…:-)…

Janet in Jerusalem


#12

It definitely would make it a lot easier to do if the edges are thinned out.

Janet in Jerusalem


#13

I’m wondering if this isn’t actually eutectic bonding.
This guy explains the use of Chrysocolla.


#14

Thank you so much, I will definitely try it. I have Little Smith torch and there are very small tips in a set. I already thought about hammering edges to be thinner before applying the hit.