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Silver findings treatment before firing with PMC?


#1

Hello everyone, I am new here and am very happy to see such sharing
among folks of like minds. I am working in Art Clay Silver and have
been working in this medium for about two years. It is just recently
that I decided to use Sterling Silver findings, they are smaller
than I have been able to make, more delicate so to speak. The
problem is I am not sure if they can be fired with the ACS. Does one
need to prepare the sterling in some way, prior to firing, and do
you need to pickle it after firing. What is pickle made of, do you
have to purchase it or can you make it.

Bombarding you all, sorry…but this seems to be the venue for
this kind of learning and sharing.

Many thanks to one and all for your kind response.

Leslie


#2

You don’t need to do anything to the sterling findings before firing
IF you are using 650 low fire clay. Fire the pieces at 1200F. and
you’ll have no problems. If you can’t, it doesn’t do any good to
fire at 1472 or above and then pickle, because the fire scale
(oxidation) will have penetrated the finding to such an extent that
they will be brittle.

Jackie Truty
Art Clay World, USA, Inc.


#3
The problem is I am not sure if they can be fired with the ACS.
Does one need to prepare the sterling in some way, prior to firing,
and do you need to pickle it after firing. What is pickle made of,
do you have to purchase it or can you make it. 

Pickle – you buy it from your favorite jewelry supply house. Sparex
#2 is the brand. Or buy PhDown or SpaDown from a pool supply store.
Target even has it in the summer.

You can depletion gild your sterling findings, which means to “bring
up the fine silver” to the surface by repeatedly heating and
pickling. You can find more detailed directions, I’m sure, by
searching the archives here.

However, you can only use sterling with metal clay if you fire it at
one of the lower temperatures, since at higher temperatures the
sterling will become brittle.

I would suggest you buy fine silver findings from Metal Clay
Findings or Art Clay World, and use those, then you can fire up to
1650 for as long as you like.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#4

Leslie,

I was told in one of the classes that I attended that sterling
findings can be used if you do something called "depletion gilding."
This is done with a torch and is supposed to bring the silver to the
surface of the piece, providing a surface of fine silver.
Purportedly, you can then fire this finding with your metal clay and
not be plagued with fire scale. I haven’t tried this yet.

Pickle is usually an acid product that is mostly used in a heated
pot such as a small crock pot. The acid will remove the cupric oxide
on the surface of your sterling after having had the torch used on
it. You also need to flux it before using the torch to prevent cupric
oxide or fire scale from building up on the surface. I’ve never had
fire scale on any of my sterling pieces but I hear that it’s a real
pain in the derriere to deal with if it does occur. Flux, pickle, and
pickle (crock) pots can be ordered from many supply houses or a local
jewelers supply store.

As an alternative, may I recommend a book to you that has just hit
the metal clay world? It was written by Jeanette Landenwitch and is
titled, " Setting Stones in Metal Clay." I obtained a copy the minute
that it came out and the short amount of time I’ve had to peruse my
copy has left me even more admiring of Jeanette’s wonderful store of
knowledge. It’s well written and has instructions and illustrations
for making settings that I would never have dreamed could be done
with metal clay.

Good luck to you!

Judy Bennett
Guilty Pleasure Gems


#5
Flux, pickle, and pickle (crock) pots can be ordered from many
supply houses or a local jewelers supply store. 

Another good source, usually with far better prices, are Goodwill,
Salvation Army & other such2nd hand stores.

The goes to a good cause too.

Dave