I solder brass regularly. I have no ventilation in my basement.
this is just plain stupid one needs ventilation in any studio..
This is aguably correct. I say arguably because I believe you make
alot of assumptions about the working conditions everyone works in.
Ideally any studio would be ventilated. Partcularly when hundreds of
solder jobs are happening per day. Combine this with the more
complex fluxes (flourine containing) and I would wholehartedly agree
with you. But for some… say me, who makes five or six solder joins a
day (maybe per week) using straight borax as flux… well, your
argument kind of falls apart. Add to the fact that this occurs in a
2500sq ft space and the likelhood of breathing related complications
dwindle to almost zero. I gaurantee you that you are in greater peril
sitting in traffic for 5 minutes a day with your car windows down.
regardless of the metal, flux etc. i hope no one takes this
poster's advise and thinks ventilation is at all optional..
It wasnt advice… it was a statement of how I (currently) do it. A
calculated risk I believe I said “Simple safety precautions will
suffice.” This could include ventilation, breathing apparatus or
voodoo wards for that matter. (ok… maybe not that). The point is,
the world has enough fear mongering going on. YES, you could
experience breathing issues w/o ventilation. But you could also miss
out on most of your life w/o education, logic and sane evaluation of
Get into good habits not wreckless ones
Agreed. Good advice.
over time this person will have some residual effects or a bad
Not likely. I’ll more likely have residual effects and bad
experience due to the pack-a-day nicotine habit I have.
I am a jeweler- a silver and goldsmith- selling art jewelry that
is higher end.. I am not about to discus the anthropology of
adornment on this site- I do however discuss techniques and best
prectises in making fine jewelry, marketing it, and dealing with
clients that buy fine and art jewlery, most of it custom work j..
Had you prefaced your post with the above statement, we could agree
to disagree much earlier. However you chose to take a stance that
your life experience is the only way to define the jewelery industry.
Which is clearly not true. We are obviously comparing apples to
and it is I assure you novice JEWELRY makers, NOT in demand !! and
never will be in fine jewelry markets.
DUH! I believe the (traditional) definition of fine jewelery is
something along the lines of noble metals, diamonds, fine pearls
etc. However that is changing. I would consider engagement/wedding
jewelery to be ‘fine jewlerey’, but you see tungsten, steel,
titanium, mokume gane all used as the primary fabrication metal. So
where is the definition going, and why do you fight so hard to hold
on to the traditional sense of the term.
- brazing rods do not work for silver and gold jewelry
“Learn the properties of your medium, and you’ll learn what you
can/can’t and should/shouldn’t do with it.”
I believe that statement I made reinforces your position. Noone said
anything about using brazing rod to join a noble metal. However, just
to push the envelope a bit… a brazing rod would work just fine for
silver, but why would you when silver solder is obviously the better
But they DO REACT with cleints skins. Plain and simple,many clients
body chemistries will react with white gold, copper, brass, bronze,
Sorry, not true. As I said before, it is the rection betwen the body
chemistry, and the resulting tarnish. You make it sound like copper
will turn anyone into the grinch if they wear anything made from it.
If this were the case, sterling silver would induce the same reaction
and, in fact, over time it does. White gold/nickle silver would be an
exception to this ‘blanket’ statement. Nickle sensitivity/allergy is
a very real, and very common thing. Copper reacts with body
chemistries to form oxides and much more commonly sulphides. These
stain the skin. If you keep copper jewelery clean, this is not an
issue. This is the difference in the clientel. One of the properties
people seek in noble metal jewelery is the tendency to not require as
much maintenance. But even gold will stain skin if its one of the
more affordable alloys (14k) and isn’t regularly cleaned. This is
why I prefer platinum over gold.
but there is an extreme distinction between good art jewelry and
trash made sloppily and just to bring in a 20 dollar price point at
a flea market -
True, but this really speaks to the techniques and skill level used
to create the item, it is an elitist position to suggest that the
metal has any effect on the quality of the item being fabricated
(outside its physical properties. We could both agree copper isn’t
really suitable to set a diamond in. Not becuse it’s copper, but
because copper is entirely too malleable for security sake.)
that is not what I think most people on this site want information
If this were true, I wouldn’t be here. I come to this site to learn
EVERYTHING I can about making beautiful, durable, life enriching
products from metal. I aspire to be what you claim to be, but I can
assure you that when I get there, my mind will be wide open to
possibilities yours can’t possibly comprehend.
I would never fabricate a piece with copper or any ferrous metal
that touches the wearers skin. It is too likely to not only react
but get returned because the buyer did not realise the properties
of non-sealed ferrous metals. Nickel as well, which is alloyed in
white golds has the same tendency to react with wearers skin and
potential buyers of or requests for custom work in that metal
should be advised of the potential for a chemical reaction
particularly if they have never bought or worn white gold before.
If a client returned a piece for this reason, you obviously hadn’t
done your job as a jeweler. The client should leave the transaction a
veritable expert on every aspect of the piece you made for them. Full
disclosure is a policy that applies to more than doctors and drug
Arrogant I am not- experienced I am!
Sorry, you come across as both. Emphasis on the former.
It is an old discussion on Orchid, the question of good practises
in one's studio and one's choice in metals in designing boils down
to each individual's preferences, but in the context of making
jewelry that is professional the majority are using precious metals
in their fabrication and novices enter Orchid to learn precious
metal working skills.
What exactly is a precious metal working skill. Piercng? Soldering?
Plating? Etching,? Forging? Chasing? Inlay? Twisting? Doming?
Forging? Are these unique to only precious metals? These are
metaworking skills. Stop looking down your nose at anyone because you
choose soley to work in noble metals. You see, if I fabricated a
stone set pendant using all of the same techniques you did… taking
the same skill and time and soul to make a magnificent work of art,
but I chose red brass, and you chose red gold as the fabrication
medium, Artistically wouldn’t they have equal value? We are talking
art jewelery after all. Side by side comparison, identical in every
way except metal choice. I’d say yes. I’m sure you would disagree,
because somehow you believe gold is magic and trumps any humble
metal. I would have to say that they would be identically priced with
the only difference being in material costs.
We all have to start somewhere. For those of us that are strugling in
the current economy, base metals are the way to go. They allow the
creative and technical process to flourish and provide other
struggling people the possibility of owning something of high
quality for a fair price. They are an excellent if not required step
in the learning process, as many precious metal alloys are comprised
of a bit of the base metals. Knowing the properties of your medium is
paramount to success. Truly fabricating your jewelery, from alloying
up to polishing and packaging, is a rewarding experience.