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First steps at reticulation and fusing

Hello, I am working with reticulation and fusing to create textured
surfaces for jewelry. I am using sterling silver to practice with
and like the surface results I am getting (I am also going to try
using reticulation-silver). I am wondering if anyone can give me some
tips on forming it. I have read that reticulation will not withstand
a lot of forming but I want to create rings, bracelets and brooches,
not hollowware.

In fusing, I started by creating collages of scrap pieces that look
really fantastic on the surface but when I form a piece into a ring,
for instance, the uneven collage elements on the top surface don’t
allow the ring to bend uniformly over the mandrill. I end up having
to solder another ring inside to get a smooth surface. I am wondering
if there are other solutions. I have been using 20 gauge metal.
Perhaps I need to go to 18? Has anyone had experience with this?

With the reticulation, again I like the top surfaces I am getting
but what’s on the back is very rough and grainy. It forms pretty well
for what I need but I spend a lot of time finishing the inside
surface of a ring or brooch. I am wondering if I should try soldering
these to smooth sheet before I form it. I am wondering if
reticulation will sweat solder? Anyone have any success with these
processes? Suggestions or tips or tips would be appreciated. Thanks
for reading!

Bruce Raper