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[Source] Prepared reticulation silver


#1

Anyone know a source for reticulation silver for which the
preparation has been done? I mean the repeated oxidation and pickling
part. I have ordered regular 80/20 reticulation silver from Hauser
and Miller in the past but not recently. I found it plain
reticulation silver listed on their website but not in the pricing
schedule. Hoover and Strong seems to carry the prepared material but
I thought there may be more or better sources. Any one have
experience with using this? Any difference in net result compared to
doing it all yourself?


#2
Hoover and Strong seems to carry the prepared material but I
thought there may be more or better sources. 

Better sources? What’s wrong with Hoover & Strong?


#3

Hello linlahlum

Try Rio as they have the Reticulation sheet item #1003118 - 103126.
18 ga to 26 ga, 80/20 sheet, dead soft. I have used some and found it
way easier to use than regular Sterling. You can also request a tech
sheet to help.

You can also order Pre-Reticulated sheet item # 103520, 3" x3", 20
ga only. Page 31, 2007 book.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#4

Rio Grande has it. I’ve used it and it doesn’t seem to be any
different, but I’d rather do it myself in order to control the
pattern.

Pat


#5

I understand that Hoover and Strong offers prepared reticulation
silver and gold. I don’t know why you wouldn’t do it yourself. If you
have a kiln, heat the 80/20 silver for 20 minutes at 1150F, pickle
(only so you can see what you are doing) and reticulate. The
repetitive process is zen-like, but not really necessary if you have
a kiln, and if you don’t have a kiln, do the repetitive thing, and
put your mind on a beach with a gin and tonic. It is mindless for 40
or 50 minutes counting the quick pickle, neutralize and scrub.

The reticulation process is great fun and makes you believe in
yourself as a metalsmith. Hoover and Strong has a good tutorial on
their website and Orchid has many references on the subject.

You will be a better metalsmith for doing it yourself. Go for it!

Judy Hoch


#6

I second Noel’s statement;

One won’t find a better company to deal with than Hoover&Strong.
period.

for pre-fabricated mill products, or any other items they carry- in
fact many larger distributors buy H&S and re-distribute it at a mark
up. theresolders are found redistributed industry wide and in at
least
5 countries that I’m aware of outside N.America…Why would anyone not
go to the source and eliminate the middleman? Their reticulation
stock is as high quality as it gets for any 80/20 alloy, and if you
don’t want to take the time patterning it yourself you can simply
purchase it pre-reticulated in two grades ( coarse and med.)…great
if you’re in a hurry to whip out some easy cuff bracelets for a show!
And convenient if you are short on scrap to make your own 80/20
sheet.

Whomever posted regarding “a better source” is clearly unfamiliar
with Hoover and Strong and their fine products, services, customer
incentives, refining, casting (one piece to thousands), wide variety
of somewhat hard-to-find or rather more easily purchased than
fabricated metals (for instance the mokume-gane stock- patterned, in
any configuration of billet you want, and in standard 17 layer
billets of silver, copper, shakudo and shibuichi, or custom alloys
and arrangements up to 27 layers as a special order item, or
pre-patterned to take the task out of the offering is second to none
in the industry and cheaper than from any other source I have
queried). They are, as far as I am aware, the only supplier of
bi-metal stock sheet in sterling and 18 kt available for same day
shipping and that makes the task of designing with engraving grand
as the contrast is stunning, they also offer assortments of flat and
other shaped wire available no where else and all is backed by H&S’s
family style of services and employees that alone render all other
competitors inferior in my experience. David Fell for example hasn’t
responded to a single request for a catalogue in five years, much
less an email…other suppliers (my own firm included) are far more
pricey than H&S, due to the volume of business and at he accounting
practises that make it cheaper for me as a custom mill product
fabricator to buy certain alloys from them rather than from the
mines where processed- when shipping and tariffs are imposed and
added. Hoover & Strong is by any stretch of the imagination a company
founded and operating for decades from a foundation of superior
customer services and the highest quality metal products and readily
available diamond stock available at the most reasonable prices in
the wholesale business anywhere. The willingness of their senior
staff to share expertise in technical areas is unparallelled. To put
it plainly, my account with them is so important to me that they get
paid before any other bills! all other fabricators and distributors
pale in comparison!

RER


#7

Thanks for your help but maybe I didn’t explain myself properly the
first time. (though I thought I did! J Judy, I know you got it! )

There are 3 forms in which you can buy reticulation silver.

One is the alloy in sheet form. That one you have to go through the
repeated cycles of heating, pickling, brass-brushing, etc., before
you actually create the wrinkles with the torch. That kind I already
have and have used before : your basic kind.

Second is the same alloy, but all the prep work has been done: all
you need to do is take your torch and create the wrinkles. None of
your boring ol’ heating, pickling, brass brushing stuff necessary.

Third is the material already wrinkled FOR you.

The first I have, the second I WANT, and the third I don’t want,
because I DO like to do the fun wrinkling part myself. Plus get to
control it.

Hoover and Strong has it: but I thought there might be other sources
out there that people like more. Also, I wanted to know if anyone
had tried it and had opinions about it compared to the regular
stuff, which is form number one. I have wondered about this but did
not know anyone who had used it.

Thanks!
Lin


#8
David Fell for example hasn't responded to a single request for a
catalogue in five years, much less an email.. 

I buy gold alloys from David Fell, and I have had no problems in
communication with them. I receive newsletters automatically and
catalogues when I request them. As recommended by Andy Cooperman,
David Fell’s winter white alloy is the best white gold alloy I have
found to cast and fabricate with.

Richard Hart


#9

Rio has the 2nd kind of reticulation silver. I have used it and
gotted great results although I have never used the first kind. I
accidentally ordered the third kind thinking it was the second kind
and was dissapointed I didn’t get to do the reticulation on my own. I
have had lots of fun with it and recommend it.

Lauren Stineman


#10

Hi Lin,

I understand the reticulation silver you are looking for. I have it
and don’t really like it. I thought that if I could get the retic
silver it would be easier to get the geography I wanted, but it just
doesn’t allow me to play with it like ordinary sterling silver does.
With sterling I can curl the edges up and get interesting geography
and landscaping. With the retic silver I got holes and alot of
mountain ranges. Perhaps if I had played more with it, I might have
been more receptive to it.

I hope this helps,
jennifer friedman
http://www.jenniferfriedmanstudio.com


#11

Haven’t seen anyone mention this yet. Perhaps I missed it.

Reactive Metals carries a product by Shining Wave that is called
Crinkle Bi-Metal. It’s 2 pieces of fused sheet (one fine and one
80/20 silver if memory serves), and it’s ready to go just add a
torch.

I’ve used the 24g, which produces very fine reticulated texture.

For the heavier texture you can get with the usual unprepared stuff,
try the thicker gauges. Works well for reticulation and has a total
metal content equal to sterling.

Good luck!
Victoria
Victoria Lansford
http://www.victorialansford.com


#12

Your quotation of my post was strictly Speaking from MY experience
with D.H.Fell…They did not, in fact, answer a single request for a
catalogue since 2005- nor respond to any email inquiry reagarding
available products.

Everyone clearly has differing experiences with DHF Co. yours good,
mine substandard.In fact I even wrote to them following my (failed)
inquiries to tell them that there was a malfunctioning hyperlink on
their site a few years ago, and never heard from them even though my
email addressed their potential loss of customers…Not how I would
or do carry on business nor how I expect to be treated by a business-
even if online. Just the same, I’ll stick with H&S for anything I
can’t make myself or need faster than I can fabricate it!

Friendliness, aside from taking into account the degree of
personalized service Hoover and Strong has delivered since the early
70’s when I began dealing with them, counts for a lot in such a
highly competitive industry in a N.American market. as far as I can
see it.

So, I suppose the lesson is that each person should go with the
company that they experience to be superior, and in recommending a
company to a novice, the novice should then with objectivity, base
his/her choices on whomever meets their needs given a range of
endorsements by colleagues from different parts of the country.

RER


#13

Lin,

Just catching up on my reading. I have used Hoover & Strong’s
prepared reticulation silver for a piece recently.

I tried the traditional preparation technique first,with another
company’s 80-20 product. While it worked up to a point, it really
didn’t give me what I was looking for. Noel Yovovich suggested I
call H & S. They couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. I asked
for advice, they walked me through the ordering process so I would
get the right texture (it’s available in coarse and a finer
texture), and they prepared it for me and shipped it out. No
surprises here, however, as they are always helpful and
accommodating.

Following their directions, I was able to get the metal to flow and
follow the torch for a lovely swirl pattern ( what I was looking
for) on the first attempt. IMHO this a great product if you can’t or
don’t want to spend the time preparing the silver yourself.

No connection with H & S other than a happy customer.

Rhona Fiedler


#14
Reactive Metals carries a product by Shining Wave that is called
Crinkle Bi-Metal. It's 2 pieces of fused sheet (one fine and one
80/20 silver if memory serves), and it's ready to go just add a
torch. 

Yup. Works really easily. So easily it feels sort of like cheating.
Kinda like doing granulation when you’ve purchased all the granules,
instead of making your own. Granted, that’s more efficient, and this
is too. But every time someone comes out with a raw material that
removes some time consuming essential preperation process, not only
does the use of the technique become much easier, but it also then
requires less understanding of how and why it works. We stand to do
more reticulation more easily, but then there’ll be a number of
people who, after some time, consider themselves experienced and
expert in reticulation, but who can only do it with the Shining wave
material, and have no understanding of why it works or how to prepare
metal on one’s own to reticulate, just as there are people doing
granulation who understand how to bond the grains, but don’t have a
clue how to make them. Of course, this same line of reasoning, or
delusional thinking can be carried all the back to folks who buy
their metal rolled or drawn into sheet and wire, or who roll and draw
it themselves but couldn’t do it the old way (prior to rolling mills
or steel draw plates), or even alloyed already, or perhaps in already
mined and refined form, instead of starting with a hole in the
ground, a fire, and some rocks or other found objects to bash the
stuff into shape with… (grin)

I, of course, am as guilty of all this as anyone. I love good tools
already made for me, I’m happy to buy pre rolled metal (though wire
is so easy I usually make all my own wire) or already alloyed metals.
And the shining wave reticulation sheet, as with all the rest of Phil
Baldwin’s great products, is a great time and work saver when that
effect is what I’ve got in mind.

Still, I’m happy to also say that if I had to, I could easily enough
go back to how I used to do it from scratch, and I know how and why
it works. I try to understand these things about any of the
processes I use, even if modern convenience products or tools have
made the “old ways” no longer needed. Understanding these
backgrounds, and maybe trying them out and getting some experience
with them in spite of the easier materials, is something I feel we’re
all better off doing for ourselves. Students are well advised to
explore the origins of a technique, and master it before putting the
old methods on the shelf and taking the easy way. Your work and your
understanding of the material will be all the better for it.

cheers
Peter Rowe


#15
Your quotation of my post was strictly Speaking from MY experience
with D.H.Fell..They did not, in fact, answer a single request for
a catalogue since 2005- nor respond to any email inquiry reagarding
available products. Everyone clearly has differing experiences with
DHF Co. yours good, mine substandard 

Since I have had more success with the alloy I mentioned for the
winter white gold alloy from David Fell, I would not let any
miscommunication deter me from doing business with them. Having used
different white gold alloys, it would take some pretty bad behavior
to make me think of dropping them as a supplier. I do not throw the
baby out with the bath water, but I have had no problems.

I do remember years ago when Rio Grande was having massive problems
and was the subject of much contempt for months, and it seems now
everyone has forgiven them.

My opinion is that regardless of how Rio’s customer service is,
because of the diversity of their products not many could afford to
stop using them as easily as suppliers that have much more limited
and specific types of products. As I age, I realize I need to be more
forgiving as I make commitments that take me much longer to fulfill,
so I am grateful for the patience my customers have for me. And I am
more conscious about whether I am doing business or doing right
livelihood. My opinion is that the landscape of small business has
changed over the last ten years.

We work longer hours for less money, competition has increased,
materials cost more, we have to multi-task which means doing more
things, perhaps some not as well if we had more time, we have to
figure out where the money is and pay more attention to tasks we do
not enjoy just to survive. I feel that people want to give others the
attention they deserve, but perhaps the time demands create
limitationson time we have, and the result is having anxiety and
stress.

Walmart, costco, Sam’s club and fast food restaurants have changed
our expectation of customer service. You can get the same thing
everyone else gets the same way they get it, low quality for a low
price fairly quickly. No one has any product knowledge, the customer
service is that you can return any piece of crap easily.

Expectation is a predetermined resentment Good customer service is
not a right and it is not owed to us just because we choose to do
business with someone. It is something that can make a business more
successful, but there are a lot of businesses that are successful
that are not known for their good customer service.

Rant and rambling over.

Richard Hart


#16
But every time someone comes out with a raw material that removes
some time consuming essential preperation process, not only does
the use of the technique become much easier, but it also then
requires less understanding of how and why it works." 

Well, now I have to say something about this idea. Why is it so
necessary that everyone understand how everything works.

Look at the basic washing machine - when it first came out everyone
jumped on board (if they could afford to) and no one looked back and
said “If you don’t know how to do laundry without a washing machine
you can’t possibly do it well” Younger people who came along after
the washing machine arrived never HAD to do laundry on a “scrub
board” or with a “boiling pot”. How lucky were they!

But, this has been the case with every new invention that has
appeared. One just needs to look at the computer and word processing
to realize that this has not resulted in people not knowing how to
write, in fact, it has facilitated correspondence such as that which
appears on this forum. Without this wonderful advancement, we
wouldn’t even be here talking about this. Can you imagine having to
"hand write a letter" to more than one person to get advice about a
technique?

I think what we need to focus on is what the technological
advancements provide for us - I imagine people who only do
reticulation using the pre-prepared silver can spend more time on
being creative and they will push the technique as far as they can
and it will be no less well done that someone who knows how to
prepare the metal.

You can always read about how it was done. After all unless we are
several hundred years old, we can’t possibly know about all the past
ways of doing things. I say we should just embrace the “new” and use
that “saved time” to be more creative.

K


#17
But every time someone comes out with a raw material that removes
some time consuming essential preperation process, not only does
the use of the technique become much easier, but it also then
requires less understanding of how and why it works.

You know, there is sense to this. And yet, the questing and creative
part of me is indignant. I enjoy explorations in metal prep, design
applications, variations on forging, new tools, new mediums for
expression…

And then there are months like this one and I’m glad I have the
option…that there are people who still know this and can teach
this, but that for this moment, deadline drawing near while life
continues to happen as it inevitably will…I can order it somewhere
(from someone who knows the process probably…) and breathe a little
easier because 4 days work is now 2 days from done.

Yeah, I know…I sound like I’m on the fence here and I can’t help
it. I’ve walked stone fences all my life, heel-toe-heel-toe, and I
like what I see on both sides most of the time.

Oh, and thank you to everyone for all the great that’s
been shooting into my inbox! I have learned more from this group than
I thought to, now know that putting my fingers into any ol’ liquid is
a bad idea, and have had several new sketches thanks to a few ideas
from you wonderful people. I have even been reminded of a simple
trick to finish a project that’s been haunting my bench for far too
long.

Thank you!
Kim


#18

Dear Kay,

But every time someone comes out with a raw material that removes
some time consuming essential preperation process, not only does
the use of the technique become much easier, but it also then
requires less understanding of how and why it works. 

That was a very well written response. It appears that there are many
on this forum who learned things the old way and maybe the hard way
and who resent people coming along and being able to miss out certain
steps in a process, but it’s the glass is half full/half empty
scenario. Try and see the positive in all situations.

Although I buy ready milled sheet and wire (let’s not go there
again), I do granulate from scratch and I do all the depletion
gilding and pickling steps when I reticulate silver - but at some
point in the future, having done both successfully, I may choose to
buy the pre- prepared stock for such techniques.

Helen
UK


#19
Why is it so necessary that everyone understand how everything
works. 

It’s not necessary. I like to know how things work though. To each
his own.

But, this has been the case with every new invention that has
appeared. One just needs to look at the computer and word
processing to realize that this has not resulted in people not
knowing how to write, 

I was at a fast food restaurant the other day when the power went
out. I was in line and they had food and the registers could be
opened with a key, but they stopped selling food because nobody knew
how to make change! I was hungry and so taught the cashier how. She
was AMAZED!! and quickly told her skeptical manager that it was
indeed possible to count back change even without electricity.

Maybe the present generation can still write with pens and paper,
but the next one will probably look on it as a lost art. Most people
who use computers to communicate have either lost the ability to
punctuate properly or never bothered to learn this skill. Don’t get
me started on the proper usage of words like “to”, “too” and “two.” I
can’t say with any certainly that computers have robbed people of
their ability to write, but I firmly believe computers have cost
many the ability to think.

Doc


#20
As I age, I realize I need to be more forgiving as I make
commitments that take me much longer to fulfill, so I am grateful
for the patience my customers have for me. 

Oh, I couldn’t agree more. Now that I’m in my mid 50’s, I don’t know
if I’ve slowed down or if I’m more critical of what my work looks
like and take the time to refine it better; but I certainly put out
less work in the same time frame than I used to years ago. Neither
can I put in the 14 hour days 6 days a week that once seemed so
normal.

Not that I wish this on anyone, but I’m glad to hear that I’m not
alone in this. You are so right about truly appreciating patience
from our clients…I put more than enough pressure on myself without
getting additional scheduling pressure from an impatient customer.

Paul