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Troubleshooting silver reticulation


#1

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


#2

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


#3

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


#4

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