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Re-wire inlay


#1

Thanks, Peter (as always!) and Frank. I have a much better
understanding of the process now. The books I have with the
instructions for this technique are geared more towards guns and
knives (as are a LOT of engraving manuals, unfortunately) so the
varying hardness of the metals used was never even a consideration,
nor was accomodating the curved surface of a ring shank. But now that
I have a showpiece to display (on my own hand) I am hoping to do more
of this type of work. It really adds a lot of individuality to a
standard signet ring, and makes a nice addition to the custom
engraving service our store can offer. And I am tired of engraving
"with love, Bob, '02" and whatnot when the possabilities are so
enormous. Marggi


#2

Inlay - This process was first promoted by Albert Paley, the famous
metalsmith, some years ago, and works quite well. A wire of
sufficient diameter, in this case white alloy is soldered to a sheet
of contrasting color, silver to gold. By carefully soldering the
whole length of the wire, Then the base metal is turned over and the
wire is hammered from the rear of the sheet, particularly were the
wire is soldered. Then the sheet is turned back to the wire side and
the wire and metal is covered with paste flux and the heated
preferably from the underside until the the solder comes to the
surface. Then the sheet is surfaced with silicon carbide paper until
smooth. Experiment with different diameter wires until the desired
width is obtained. John Burton


#3
    Inlay - This process was first promoted by Albert Paley, the
famous metalsmith, some years ago, and works quite well. A wire of
sufficient diameter, in this case white alloy is soldered to a
sheet of contrasting color, silver to gold. By carefully soldering
the whole length of the wire, Then the base metal is turned over
and the wire is hammered from the rear of the sheet, particularly
were the wire is soldered.  . .    John Burton 

Hi John; I believe the technique you are describing is called “ONlay”
(no, not misspelled). Inlay involves carving a channel in a harder
metal and spreading a wire (or sheet) into the channel. The channel
is undercut on the sides so when the wire flattens out, it "locks"
into the channel. I’ve done both techniques, and taught them both
also to my students (when I was teaching). I don’t know about the
Paley reference. I think Helen Shirk (San Diego State U.) was
popularizing it a few years back. I learned it from a Japanese
craftsman back in the early `70’s, which would have been early in
Al’s carreer as a metalsmith. (Paley was initially a sculptor, then
a jeweler, and now blacksmithing). I first met him when we each had
work in an exhibit in 1976 and was so struck with his work I’ve
followed his career ever since, and met him a number of times. He
was a good friend of my old mentor, Phillip Fike.

David L. Huffman