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Reticulation Alloy with "goose bumps"


#1

Hello everyone, A couple of years ago I saw some items made with a
reticulation alloy which gave a “goose bumps” pattern instead of the
more usual “wavy” pattern. I believe it was a silver/copper alloy,
but am not sure of the percentage composition, or if there were other
metals present. Anyone know of the formula for this type of alloy? I
would prefer the composition so I could make my own alloy rather than
purchase the stuff.

Thanks for your help,
Jim
James DeRosa, Jr.
140 Clifton Drive
Boardman, OH 44512-1616
330-782-0702


#2

Jim,

How funny! I just made that alloy back in the summer, rolled it
down, and reticulated it last week. Got a wonderful "goose bump"
pattern that I hadn’t expected, since I’ve also see that alloy
reticulate in rather spectacular ways. I believe I got that pattern
because I was working with lower heat than usual and on a smaller
piece than I usually reticulate – either that, or the melt wasn’t
thoroughly stirred.

Anyway, the name of the alloy is SHIBUICHI. Its proportions are 75%
copper to 25% silver (fine).

Have fun!

Karen Goeller @Karen_Goeller

P.S. - Shibuichi also makes simply gorgeous torch patinas, due to
its high copper content. You might want to experiment with it for
that reason alone, if you like color in your work.


#3

I get the goose bumps and wavy pattern with control on sterling
silver not the reticulating silver. It just takes some practice, but
then again those practice pieces make some of the best designs.

Jennifer Friedman


#4

Could the alloy be shibuichi? I have read of a "pear-skin grain"
which develops if all goes right when preparing the alloy. Shibuichi
is japanese for “three quarters,” and the most common formula is 75%
copper to 25% silver. The Design and Creation of Jewelry by
Robert Van Neumann touches on this. As memory serves me, there was
also an article in the Lapidary Journal in which Andy Cooperman
discussed the pear grain of shibuichi in more detail.

Lee Einer


#5
items made with a reticulation alloy which gave a "goose bumps"
pattern instead of the more usual "wavy" pattern. 

Hi Jim,

I may have been getting the effect you describe by accident. I had a
post… maybe a year ago… asking about why I was unable to get the
classic wrinkled effect I wanted, and had achieved before. I
described it as “frog skin”, so it may not be the same, but your
goose bumps term sounds close.

I was using sterling sheet… I tried a couple different gauges,
probably around 22 ga. I’ve successfully reticulated sterling in the
past, and don’t know what I was doing differently. I tried several
"tricks", but never got what I wanted. The most consistent advice was
to get some of the 80/20 reticulation silver.

I was using a single torch. Would have preferred two, one with a
bushy flame to keep everything uniformly hot, and the other with a
sharp flame for developing the pattern. I didn’t have two torches in
past successes either.

If you want to get the bumpy surface, try some sterling! If not,
I have some “frog skin” ™ reticulation I can sell ya! :wink:

All the best,

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com mailto:dave@sebaste.com
http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com


#6
 A couple of years ago I saw some items made with a reticulation
alloy which gave a "goose bumps" pattern instead of the more usual
"wavy" pattern. I believe it was a silver/copper alloy, but am not
sure of the percentage composition, or if there were other metals
present. 

To me the “goose bumps” mean the alloy is Shibuichi, a silver/copper
mixture originally used for decorative accents on Samurai swords.
The name means literally “one quarter” denoting the proportions of
25% silver and 75% copper used in the traditional process. The metal
takes on a nice “puckered” or “blistered” surface finish when torch
textured.

If you are making the alloy yourself, you may want to play with the
proportions. I’ve seen a fairly wide range. An old magazine article
I read mentioned the “best” alloy the author had found was 32% silver
68% copper. On the high side I’ve seen one reference to a 40% silver
mixture.

The only commercial source I have found for Shibuichi is Reactive
Metals in Clarkdale, New Mexico (800 876-3434)
http://www.reactivemetals.com/ They have two different alloys, a 25%
silver 75% copper and a 15% silver 85% copper.

So what alloy is actually “best”? Last week I made up three
different blends, 25%, 32% and 40% silver (with the rest being
copper). Using the same thickness sheet, the same torch technique,
and the same surface prep, I found the “goose bumps” got
progressively larger as the silver content was increased. My
preference was for the largest blisters which were produced by the
40% silver 85% copper alloy.

If anyone would like detailed instructions on the process, I have a
data sheet I made up for my class. Please email me off-list. File
format is WORD 2000 for Windows.

  • Brad Smith
    Los Angeles

#7

Thanks to everyone who emailed with suggestions and ideas to help me
find the answer to my query. The suggestion that the alloy I needed
to use was shibuichi, was correct, but I have found that I get the
best texture using 32/68 (silver/copper) composition instead of the
more common 25/75 shibuichi alloy. Thanks again to all and happy
reticulating! Jim

James DeRosa, Jr.
140 Clifton Drive
Boardman, OH 44512-1616
330-782-0702