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ARGENTIUM FABRICATION STUDENT WORK

THIS IS THE WORK OF A BEGINNING STUDENT AFTER ATTENDING CLASSES FOR 8 WEEKS. THIS IS NOT THE FULL EXTENT OF HER WORK… SHE GAVE 4 RINGS AND THREE BRACELETS AWAY AS GIFTS. HER FOUR HOLLOW FORMS CONTAIN NO SOLDER… ALL FUSED.

Janise Simmons Hollow Forms Class
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What is Granulation?

What is Granulation?

There are three main techniques that can be called “granulation”: hard soldering, fusing/diffusion bonding, and colloidal soldering. The materials used for granulation are usually high karat gold and/or silver alloys as alloys below 18 kt. gold and sterling silver are not well suited to granulation (not that they can not be done by soldering).

So, What is the difference in Diffusion bonding and Colloidal or Eutectic Soldering?

When heated to well below the melting point, the atoms of the metal are vibrating, and as it gets hotter, they vibrate more. When two metals that have similar properties are close together, the atoms will mingle and form a bond. That is what I am referring to when I am saying diffusion bonding or fusing. When I refer to Fusing, I am generally referring to welding two metals of the same alloy together through the use of heat alone.

Refer to electron microscope analysis photos below of fusing Argentium/ Argentium, 22k Gold/Argentium, 18k Gold/Argentium. No solder or added copper to get these results.

Argentium Sheet fused to Argentium Sheet

Argentium Sheet fused to Argentium Sheet

AS Wire on sheet

AS Wire on sheet

18k sheet on Argentium

18k sheet on Argentium

When I taught Balinese metalsmiths how to alloy different colors and karats of gold, we made solders in each alloy.All work was then was done by sprinkling powdered solder over the entire piece. This technique is hard soldering.

Colloidal or eutectic soldering is a technique that makes use of a colloidal mixture of organic glue and copper salts such as cupric carbonate or copper coating granules. This compound lowers the melting temperature of the two metals in contact (the granules and the base) after which the copper diffuses into both at the point of contact when fired in a reducing atmosphere. The glue burns away releasing the copper salt from the compound. The copper diffuses into the granules and the base linking them together.

22k on Argentium

When fusing Argentium to itself or other metals, I am using only heat and flux. The flux protects the surface from forming too much germanium oxide at high temperatures. It is a pure diffusion bonding and simple to do. I have had success in fusing Argentium with Brass, Copper, 22k and 18k Gold, Steel, and Platinum.

kate wolf class 2012

Kate Wolf at JSI for Meeting of the Masters 2012

Kate making the rounds.
Thanks to the JSI scholarship, I was able to attend Kate Wolf’s class on wax carving. I had absolutely no experience going into the class and learned a lot more than I ever imagined. And Kate Wolf is a stunt woman! I carved rings, pendants, and learned how to carve wax on a lathe, which was my favorite part.
Steve Fortier

Homemade Pickle

Before Citric Pickle

After homemade pickle

When I was teaching in Bali, the local jewelers were using a peeled lemon with a bit of salt in the mixture for their pickle. I have been experimenting with home made pickles ever since. I have found that 1 cup hot lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of salt or 1 cup of hot vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt make a wonderful pickle for Argentium. 

Ronda Coryell, http://www.rondacoryell.com

http://www.jewelrystudiesintl.com

http://www.jewelrystudiesinternational.com/pages/About_JSI

Tarnish Removal

Before WindexAfter using Windex

after using Windex

Tarnish Removal for Argentium Silver

I recently moved to Austin to start Jewelry Studies International where we focus on offering cutting-edge jewelry classes featuring Argentium Sterling Silver as the metal of choice.  I have found that since moving here, my  Argentium has tarnished more in six months than it did in 6 years in San Francisco. The surface was starting to look dingy and slightly yellow or brownish. My theory is that there must be more sulfur compounds in the air here. I started experimenting with things to try and remove it… vinegar, lemon juice, etc. Nothing seemed to help.

A couple of days ago, I received a call from Jeffrey Herman, founder of Society of American Silversmiths, regarding Argentium. He was the first person to try Argentium here in the United States. Peter Johns, the inventor of Argentium, sent some to Jeff to try. He fell in love with it and has been using it since then. In our conversation, the subject of tarnish removal came up. He told me to try Windex or Hand Sanitizer. I had Windex on hand and tried it immediately.

These photos show the result of the experiment. Just spray it on, let it sit for about 15 seconds, then rinse. The tarnish was not bad to start with (it is Argentium of course). I was AMAZED at the results. Our thanks go out to Jeff for the information.

_Ronda Coryell, http://www.rondacoryell.com

http://www.jewelrystudiesintl.com

http://www.jewelrystudiesinternational.com/pages/About_JSI