Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fine Silver, A Hammer and a Torch

I am taking a long distance class in metal fusing from Iris Sandkuhler of Sandkuhler Studio in Pacifica, California. She is a very

talented artist, and her course has opened up a whole new world of creative possibility for me. I'm having sooo much fun creating new things. Fine silver, which is .999 pure silver, (unlike sterling which is .925 pure and tarnishes faster) has been a joy to work with. Fine silver must be used when fusing in order for the metal to melt and fuse together correctly. The technique involves making shapes where the the ends of the metal are touching as smoothly and completely as possible, then heating with a torch until the metal becomes liquid and fuses, but still retains the original shape. The piece is then textured, shaped some more if needed, polished and embellished with whatever comes to mind. Here are a couple of my first pieces...

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