Friday, December 28, 2007

Fusing!



Earlier this month I took a class on fusing and it's opened up a whole new world of ideas for me. A long time ago I took lots of classes on soldering, so I know how that goes, but it's messy and requires more time and equipment. The basic idea behind fusing is that you don't need solder or flux or pickle. You simply heat the metal with a butane torch (mine's a micro torch) until the silver begins to liquify and flows. Basic materials that I aquired to do this:


micro torch

butane

fire brick

old cookie sheet to sit the brick on

bowl of water to quench the hot silver

fine silver wire- 14 g.

tumbler


I'm using fine silver instead of sterling because sterling silver gets fire scale when heated. That's where the pickling comes in. With fine silver you simply heat it, quench it, and tumble it if you want it really shiny. The tumbler also work hardens the metal. Fine silver is especially soft after being heated so it's important to tumble it so that the piece keeps its shape.


So, I've set up a workspace in the basement for the metal work and I'm loving it! For me, designing metal pieces feels more creative than bead work. I love beautiful beads but I'm excited about the direction my work is taking. I'm planning on using the stones as accents in my new pieces and really concentrating on the look of the silver or copper.

2 comments:

msbelle said...

I had to stop in and say hi. I found you through the EtsyMetal blog. Your last name is Goss as was my maiden name. I just wanted to say hello from another Goss. I'm from the northwestern mountains of North Carolina. You're the first Goss I've run across in a very long time!

See ya!

Ginger
aka msbelle

ambika said...

Beth, I am so sorry about your surgery. It sounds like a real drag but I'm happy it sounds like you're recovering (if slowly.)

Can I ask where you took the fusing class? That sounds right up my alley--I've been balking at dealing with fire but I'm too interesting not to try.

My latest treasury!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=10648