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Troubleshooting silver reticulation

Hi, I’m new to the forum and have minimal experience so please
forgive any omissions in detail that might seem obvious to someone
with more experience. I’m working on a project that I’ve decided to
attempt after watching an instructional DVD (Alan Revere’s
Reticulated Wedding bands). After 3 rounds of annealing and pickling,
I tried to reticulate the silver and was able to create some tiny
nubs but after more than 10 rounds of heating and pickling, I wasn’t
able to produce any more texture than the little nubs that occurred
early in the process. Now the silver is a dull gray with areas that
have a brassy undertone. This color issue does not resolve with
cleaning or tumbling. I heated close to melting on several occasions
and although I didn’t burn any holes, I have one small area that
seems to have melted because even after pickling it has the shiny
appearance of molten metal. I don’t understand why I couldn’t get any
substantial texturing from heating and pickling and why the metal is
now a gray/brassy color. I hope to understand what I’m doing wrong
before I try it again. I have followed the steps as explained in the
DVD to the best of my ability. I’m using reticulation silver from
Hauser & Miller (18 gauge, 135 mm length, and 40mm wide), using an
air/acetylene torch. I used #4 tip for annealing, #2 and #3 tips for
reticulation. Any insight or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Wendy Wills

Hi Wendy,

I reticulate all the time but not with reticulation silver, I was
just disappointed with it. I use regular sterling silver to
reticulate with. I start by determining the area I want changed, cut
my silver and heat it just until the surface starts to move. It does
take control and patience, but I like my results better. I am not
looking for mountains, but soft hills and turning of edges.

Hope this helps,
Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA

Not an expert by ANY means, but do a lot of reticulation in my work.
I find that the thinner the silver I use, the more interesting
effects I get. I love 28 and 30 gage sheet. I use the regular
sterling and just play with my torch to see what happens. My work is
very free-form, so my blood pressure remains low :-).

Carina Rossner
carinarossner.com

Thanks Jennifer and Carina!

I’ll try playing around with sterling silver and thinner sheet. I
just got a new torch “meco midget” oxy-propane so I’m hoping for
better control. The acetylene-air torch has been difficult, it’s
like driving with a lead foot. I was able to get the reticulation
silver to wrinkle which was very exciting after many hours of
spinning my wheels, but no more texture than wrinkles. I hope to
figure out how to create more dramatic changes in the metal. Thanks
for taking the time to answer!

Wendy Wills