Are you polishing the pieces before hand and then soldering and then
pickling? I recommend using boric acid and denatured alcohdol
instead of past flux. The flux will react to the waxes in the
The "skin" created after continuous heat cycles is actually fine
silver being deposited onto the surface. Each time you heat sterling,
a small amount of copper is burned off. This is known as depletion,
and for me, is very desirable.
Flux your silver, paste flux is fine, anneal, cool, pickle, rinse
and brass brush with a bit of soap and water. Repeat this 7 times.
Done slowly and without overheating, you can raise a lovely skin of
fine silver to the surface. Roller printing onto this surface is
sublime and tarnishes much, much slower than a regular sterling
piece. Oxidize the roller printed surface and the metal melds with
the patina. I like to use leaves on this one.
If you have a PMC kiln, this is perfect for annealing larger pieces.
Set the kiln to 1200, place the piece in for 1 minute each time.
M E T A L W E R X
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Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio