I hope this question hasn’t been asked before - I’ve had a quick look
through the archives but so far haven’t found the info I need and I
can only stay online a few minutes longer.
Just quickly, the story behind the question:
At short notice I’ve agreed to donate an art work for an auction
that is being held by the organisation that I rent my studio from. I
really want to support this organisation because they have supported
me so much. I have a few prototypes made up in brass for new
designs - today I weighed each and did the calculations - the
cheapest will set me back $80-$100 (Aus) to make in sterling silver
(cost of material alone). Unfortunately this isn’t an expense I can
take on at the moment - repairs on my car take precedence I’m afraid.
Right now, I am looking at my options which are, as I see them a)
come up with a new design quick smart that uses less metal or b) use
a different, cheaper, metal for the design I’ve settled on.
a) isn’t really an option because I just can’t work that fast - I’m
working an office job full time and just can’t force the inspiration
out of me to design and make up a completely new design in such a
short space of time.
I’m thinking b) looks like my only chance. So, I’m thinking of using
Nickel Silver or Brass (possibly with some sterling silver links).
Brass I know plenty about and have used before but am trying to
avoid as I would prefer this design in a white coloured metal - also,
I would prefer to avoid the colour mismatch of silver solder on
brass. Nickel silver I have never used before and have only read a
As I understand it (please correct me if I’m wrong) - it is a bit
harder than Sterling Silver, does not polish up as bright and solders
okay with silver solders My questions though, are as follows:
Does it (Nickel Silver) tarnish quickly like brass? What
does tarnished nickel silver look like?
If worn against the skin does it mark the skin? (I am aware
that some people have nickel allergies - this is not what I’m
talking about) - Can it be tumble polished?
Can it be chemically oxidised like silver can be?
What care instructions should be given for it?
All artworks for this auction are needed by Friday of next week so I
need to put in an order for the metal I am going to use ASAP. If
anyone is able to answer any of my questions I would appreciate if
you could email me off-list so I can get your response more quickly.