Hi Charles. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I
am still so amazed at the depth and wealth of knowledge on the Orchid
forum, and am humbled by those of you who so freely share your
knowledge with us. Regarding the precipitation hardening, it seems to
me that I would be wiser to design my pieces such that I can harden
the silver through good ole “work hardening” and not need to rely
upon precipitation hardening. The risk of distorting the piece after
the initial annealing, and the potential firescale are enough to
deter me for now. As a new jeweler, I have indeed completed a couple
of pieces only to discover that a clasp or some other integral
component is just not hard enough to take daily wearing.
Fortunately, I have been able to reheat the solder, remove that
component, and redesign the piece so that it does work. Good lessons
to make me realize I need to more thoroughly think through a design
before starting. But again, thank you (and all of you others) for
pointing us in the right direction.