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Fusing on Silver


#1

Friends–

I have been doing a new line of work that is going quite well, in
which I fuse 24k onto silver, roll it flat, and emboss it before
using it to make jewelry. I am now wondering whether I could do the
same thing with platinum or paladium on silver. Has anyone tried
this?

Is there someone who works with plat who would be willing to sell me
a few scraps, at scrap prices, to experiment with? It could be any
size and shape, as I will roll it out to about 30 gauge. Enough to
make about 1 square inch of thin material should get me started.

Feedback welcome!

–Noel


#2

Hi Noel,

I have used the technique you are describing in the past for both
24k and palladium. You can have some bonding problems around the
edges with the palladium and some bubbles with both 24k and
palladium… I think the blue oxide layer on palladium can interfere
with bonding if it is present, but refiring seems to take care of the
problem, if any. I have never used platinum, but I would think it
would work better than palladium because there are no oxides present
to interfere with bonding. There are some examples of my current use
of 24k, palladium and silver at www.dfrey.com.

Sorry I can’t help you in obtaining platinum to work with. I’m
looking for a better word than “fusing” to describe the process to
the public?

Doug


#3

I have done some work in this area with limited success (meaning I
got it to work, but didn’t acheive the full result I was looking
for).

I tried directly fusing Platinum to Silver, ending up with a nearly
pristine piece of Platinum, and a sort of glowing blobby mess of
sterling. (I know some of you are rolling on the floor, howling in
laughter, but hey, it was worth a try!:wink:

The next experiment went much better, prepping one side of the
Platinum for soldering with abrasive, and soldering to silver and
gold using Silver solder.

I found the combination could be stamped, and hammered (to an
extent), but that upon milling, and forging the disparity in
densities and tensile characteristics of the metals worked against
one another.

What I learned from the experience is that (at least for me) Platinum
by its very nature is not particulary user friendly when directly
paired together with other metals in a fabrcation environment. I
think the absence of this kind of jewelry in the commercial market
underscores that.

I have found Platinum an expensive, finicky, and demanding medium to
work in because its capacity to forgive in the way that gold or
silver does is extremely limited.

Back at the workshop I have a whole box full of layered Platinum,
14k, and Silver bracelets rings and earrings.

Because the group is not ready for prime time, I have been using it
for finishing experiments (the characteristics of Platinum
dramatically change finishing needs of mixed metal work).

I was going to send the whole lot off to the refiner next week, but
if you are interested, I can provide a piece or two for you to monkey
with.

If you would like to discuss it, please call me at the studio at
(505) 881-3367.

With best regards,

Michael Rogers
M. M. Rogers Design