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Texturing techniques


#1

Hello everyone. I have three questions about achieving various
textures in metals.

  1. What is the best way to achieve a grid-like texture that is
    slightly varied, wavy, uneven? I am thinking of what a piece of
    cheesecloth or cotton gauze looks like when it is repositioned and
    twisted a little. I imagine taking a piece of plastic netting like
    the kind of thing vegggies are wrapped in and pressing it into the
    wax might be one solution.

  2. What is the technique where bi-colored metals are used, one to
    draw patterns on top of the other (with very slight or no height
    differences), almost as though the surface has been spray painted? I
    saw something that looked like like the design had been applied in
    gold (to a darker metal surface) as though it had been mixed with
    fine sand to achieve a grainy look within the design itself. Quite
    wonderful.

  3. Can anyone explain how the etching process works in goldsmithing?
    I do fine art etchings (my life outside jewelry) and can easily see a
    possible continuity here of my own techniques…

Many thanks from springtime in Chicago

Diana Widman
Birch Tree Studio
birchprint@aol.com


#2

Diana, #1. The simplest way to do this would be to take a piece of
window screen, distort it to the wavy pattern that you want, and then
place it between the metal sheet that you want to transfer it to and a
second sheet of metal and run it through a rolling mill. This will
transfer the screen pattern. You will have to some experimenting.

Joel
Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#3
    2. What is the technique where bi-colored metals are used, one
to draw patterns on top of the other (with very slight or no height
differences), almost as though the surface has been spray painted?
I saw something that looked like like the design had been applied in
gold (to a darker metal surface) as though it had been mixed with
fine sand to achieve a grainy look within the design itself. Quite 

Diane, I achieved this look with a sheet of 24K extremely thin (30
gauge or less) gold fused to a sheet of 14 gauge sterling silver.
After fusing you cut through the gold with a bur to create a pattern
and then you roll it down to the gauge you need and texture it by
rolling it wrapped in tissue. Then you just use it like any other
piece of metal and when you are done you color it with liver of
sulphor and lightly brass brush it. I learned the technique from
Harold O’Conner and I bet there is some sort of instructional video
available from him. Good luck - Deb Karash


#4

Diana, The best grid like texture is to use window screen. You can
vary the texture by plucking out strands of the screen and moving
them
around. Be sure to sandwich your metal with some work-hardened
brass
sheet. The steel from the screen could mar your rollers.

Can you describe where you saw the technique in your second
question
regarding bi-metal? I have only begun to work in bi-metal by roller
printing the gold surface and sweat soldering it another piece. This
leaves silver in the middle and gold on either side. I created a
rollerprinted leaf pattern, cut three leaves out and carved along the
soldered joint to expose the silver. Worked nicely actually.

Gold etching is something you really don’t want to play around with.
Aqua regia is a combination of nitric and hydrochlorid acid. I found
this in a quick search.
http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/00649.html Pretty nasty stuff.
Take it out to a commercial etcher or do it in silver and have your
piece plated.

-k


#5

Hello Diana,

    1.  What is the best way to achieve a grid-like texture that is
slightly varied, wavy, uneven? I am thinking of what a piece of
cheesecloth or cotton gauze looks like when it is repositioned and
twisted a little.  I imagine taking a piece of plastic netting 
like the kind of thing vegggies are wrapped in and pressing it into
the wax might be one solution. 

A rolling mill works well for this. You can experiment with the
materials that you mentioned. Also window screen works well.

    2. What is the technique where bi-colored metals are used, one
to draw patterns on top of the other (with very slight or no height
differences), almost as though the surface has been spray painted?
I saw something that looked like like the design had been applied in
gold (to a darker metal surface) as though it had been mixed with
fine sand to achieve a grainy look within the design itself. Quite
wonderful. 

What you probably saw was a sand blasted finish. This could be
applied after the top layer of metal is cut down.

    3. Can anyone explain how the etching process works in
goldsmithing? I do fine art etchings (my life outside jewelry) and
can easily see a possible continuity here of my own techniques... 

Acid etching in gold would require aqua regia ( 1 part nitric acid to
3 parts hydrochloric or sulfuric acid) You will need a good resist for
this. There are many safety concerns also.

Timothy A. Hansen
TAH Handcrafted Jewelry
web-site: www.home.earthlink.net/~tahhandcraft
e-mail: @Timothy_A_Hansen


#6

Hi Diana-

1.  What is the best way to achieve a grid-like texture that is
slightly varied, wavy, uneven? I am thinking of what a piece of
cheesecloth or cotton gauze looks like when it is repositioned and
twisted a little.  I imagine taking a piece of plastic netting 
like the kind of thing vegggies are wrapped in and pressing it into
the wax might be one solution. 

Does it have to be wax? Have you considered roll-printing using a
rolling mill? Sandwich your silver (or whatever) between two sheets of
brass with something to provide the texture. Consider window screen,
chicken wire, cheesecloth, the plastin netting, etc. Just about
anything will impart a texture… the harder the material, the more
crisp the texture.

   2. What is the technique where bi-colored metals are used, one
to draw patterns on top of the other (with very slight or no height
differences), almost as though the surface has been spray painted?
I saw something that looked like the design had been applied in gold
(to a darker metal surface) as though it had been mixed with fine
sand to achieve a grainy look within the design itself. Quite
wonderful. 

I believe you’re thinking of Kum-Boo. 24kt. gold overlay… kind of
"heat burnished" into another metal. There is a section in Metals
Technic
by Hongja Okim on the subject. I’ve never done it, but know
some other Orchid members have.

    3. Can anyone explain how the etching process works in
goldsmithing? I do fine art etchings (my life outside jewelry) and
can easily see a possible continuity here of my own techniques... 

The etching process for gold uses a very caustic mordant called aqua
regia, which is one part nitric acid to three parts hydrochloric acid.
The resist would have to stand up to this… I believe asphaltum is
about your only choice of resist. The resist can be hand applied or
screened on… see my thread earlier this month. Kathy Polachak also
etches the pattern onto non-precious metal (in negative), then
roll-prints the etched image onto precious metal. This allows her to
work with less dangerous mordants that will work on copper, for
example.

Hope this helps!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#7

Hi Diana,

  1. Roller texturing with netting, cheesecloth,etc. works well ( of
    course on a flat piece of metal!)

  2. can’t help you on this one.

  3. etching on silver is not really any different to etching on zinc
    plate ( aka printmaking) with nitric, etching on 18k gold I found to
    be rather more difficult, using a mixture of nitric and sulfuric (and
    water), the asphaltum resist has a tendency to lift so you get
    foul-biting - can give interesting results, though. Apparently 9k is
    easier and I believe you can use nitric and water alone for this, but
    I haven’t tried it.


#8

If you do not have access to a rolling mill, you can still "print"
with screening and such like. Lay your silver on a hard surface and
place the screening on it. Use an old flat faced hammer to force the
screen into the metal. I use a two pound sledge hammer that I have
beveled the edges on. Although I have access to a rolling mill, this
technique give a contrived look that I like. I hammer fairly evenly
but still there is variation. If the screening is moved around while
hammering, it’s even looser.

Another possibility for the two metals is this: sweat solder thin
pieces of a contrasting metal to the larger and thicker sheet. This
can be annealed and run through the rolling mill or planished flat.
It’s possible to sink in into the metal so deeply that the surfaces
are even.

I agree with the others about the dangers of etching gold.

Marilyn Smith


#9

Diana-- I don’t know what part of Chicago you are in, but you can
learn the types of techniques you are asking about and many more at
the Evanston Art Center. I, personally, am not teaching my regular
classes this summer (registration just starting), but the woman
taking my place seems very competent (I return in the Fall). Each of
your questions would require more typing than I’m willing to do, and
etching has been covered in other threads, I believe, but if you want
to contact me offline, I can tell you more.

–Noel