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Etching question


#1

I saw an example somewhere where gold was heat fed (kind of like
solder) through cuts made in a silver bracelet, put in a nitric
acid bath where the silver was etched away leaving a raised ridge
of gold. I want to experiment with this technique and my
question is this:

Can gold solder be used instead? will nitric acid affect the
gold solder?

Thanks in advance
Bryan Steagall
@bsteagal


#2

Bryan, Perhaps I didn’t fully understand what you were trying
to describe, but what would be the advantage of heat-feeding gold
for a raised ridge instead of soldering a strip of gold on? Is
it a great difference visually or texturally? If it was something
easily or quickly done, I would see why one might use the
technique, however, it doesn’t sound either easy or quick. I
would think that the acid would react in some way with the flux
used with or in the solder, perchance causing pitting? You have
piqued my interest. Please elucidate a bit more for my
ever-so-slow brain?

Thank You,
Lisa


#3

Dear Lisa:

What I saw was a bracelet featured in the Concepts and
Technology book by Oppi Untracht, what they had done was take a
sheet of sterling silver and cut it up like a puzzle, then they
joined the parts with 14k gold (it did not mention whether they
used gold solder or gold). They then grabbed this sheet, put it
it nitric acid which etched the silver but not the gold, leaving
behind a patchwork of raised gold ridges in the silver sheet,
which was then forged into the bracelet. It was really
interesting visually. I know that there are easier ways of doing
this (but alas, I am never one for the easy way)

Tell me what you think.

Thanks
Bryan


#4

Dear Bryan,

Curioser and curioser. Hmmm, I get the idea. Now I want to see
this book, and of course I don’t have it, but I may mosey
over to the UCLA library and see if they have it. I can see all
sorts of possibilities for this. The forging part sounds
especially intriguing, as I do quite a bit of forging, and
texturing and…Wonder what the rate of cracking is? I’ll look
for the book and get back to you if I find it. Meanwhile, please
keep me posted if you get any more info. Thanks, Lisa