Did you coat the base piece in flux, then dust and fuse? Did you
actually take a hacksaw to silver to create the dust, or was it the
result of another procedure? If you created the dust especially for
this process, can you elaborate on your technique?
To the Daves -
I've lost track of what's been said on this silver granulation/ fake
reticulation(?) subject, so someone may have already said this. The "dust"
is actually called "lemel". Best if it's fine silver lemel on fine silver
sheet or on sterling silver sheet that's been heated and quenched enough
times to bring up the fine silver. You can make your own lemel by taking a
heavy file to some relatively thick sheet or use what you find in your
studio, only it should be clean.
There are two ways to do it. Either copper plate the lemel/granules (to do
this deliberately contaminate some used pickle solution - best if greenish-
by putting in some steel wool and then the lemel/granules, which will
immediately turn pink) OR use (introduce) a solution of hide glue, water
and copper hydroxide. The key is the introduction of copper which will
reduce the melting point of the silver at the points where the
lemel/granules meet the sheet.
Use the hyde/glue and water or gum tragacanth to get the lemel/granules to
stick to the sheet if necessary. This may or may not be the same solution
with the copper hydroxide in it, depending on the situation.
If the lemel/granules are already copper-plated, pick them up with a
paintbrush that's full of the hyde glue/water mixture. You shouldn't need
the copper hydroxide because your lemel is already pink with copper from
the contaminated pickle. Acetylene torch (heat from underneath) or kiln
will work. Heat until you see a flash across the surface. Some
lemel/granules will not stick. It may take a few times before you get it
all to stick.
If you use the other method, get the lemel/granules onto the sheet metal,
either loose on the surface or stuck down with hyde/glue/water or gum
tagacanth. Introduce the hyde glue/water/copper hydroxide mixture with a
paint brush. You don't need much. The solution is like slightly watery flux.
I am not an expert at this technique. This is just what I recall from a
workshop I took years ago. It's been a while since I've done this with
silver. What I do remember is that it's harder to do with silver than with
gold and will require some experimentation to get it to work for you.