More ring piece

First thought was, make the silver shank soft. I'm used to copper, but apparently silver is slightly different, get it red hot and let it cool down,rather than quench it. However I found my torch is more suited to melting roof  pitch than delicate work and it sort of melted the surface so it looked like tree bark!  This tipped even me off that I was rather out of my depth. So I consulted with a local jeweler. This confirmed I was indeed in deep water. So off to Kernowcraft for supplies again.

This is the shank on a nifty soldering block they sold me
The nice girl also sold me two differing silver solders, I had thought my usual brazing rod would do, but heat wise,the silver would melt. Two solders one melts also a lower temperature  so in theory the shank could be fixed then the gallery then the two united. ..good theory ah.
This is the gallery attached to the base of silver,see how big t.he stone is!

The tale of the silver opal ring

Not three miles away lives an old lady, the mother in law. I take her shopping every week and out for an airing on Saturdays. On just such an innocent trip I happened to mention that I intended to visit Kernowcraft ( out Peranporth way, she expressed and interest in going along, so wife and old dear in tow, that's where we went, it was there the trouble started. The old dear loves opals, there were opals on the front counter, blithely she announced she wanted an opal, selected one (£98!) . I did wonder just where this was going but....well if you reach 90 years your sort of entitled to indulge yourself. She then announced that I would, and had agreed, to make her a silver opal eye met the wives and I raised an eyebrow,  I had no knowledge of agreeing to anything, but, hell,  I'm all about the quiet life so I nodded, shuffled about and wondered as she chose the stone, I did intervene to point out I needed a bit of silver for the back, some for the ring and a bit of 'gallery' to go round the edge. Thinking on my feet, I was already there planning.

Back soon

The Internet thought I'd got bored and wandered off, true, but I will be back with lots of pics and general things I have been up to, watch this space.


 Here's the top, now all polished and dandy, i use ferric chloride from Maplins and it blacks it up very well!
 The side, came up well too, at least the roses look like roses ah!
More of it , i think it came out well..I posted it off to the good old U.S or A yesterday... flipinell post is expensive on anything over 2 Kg.. £43!

Never going to make any money out of bowls!


 Sooooo.. here's the lovely wax, most of it melted in a double boiler and poured into the bowl. Beautiful colour isn't it....came in bars which me and the lad used in a sword fight!. Only one trouble is on i didn't consider. The dammed stuff shrinks as it cools, so its not in contact with the copper. Not a great deal but enough to make it tricky.
 A few taps and its falls out!.. Hum going to have to think about this, the original idea entailed beeswax and plaster of Paris.
So unable to get Plaster Of Paris but my reasoning builders plaster is a reasonable-ish substitution. Though a bit gritty it mixed well. And made the lovely red a putrid pink. Reasoning is that if the wax shrinks half and half with plaster it will shrink half as much as the plaster is just solid filler. good idea only it still dam well shrinks! Maybe ok though latter when the bowl is in it's proper shape i will try it anyway.

thinking on things its a rare thing that doesn't shrink as it cools, possibly only one thing grows as it cools and that ice!.....dam the laws of physics!

"Holding up" Pitch, plastecene and wax.

lately i've been experimenting with different methods of "holding up" the metals. Tradition dictates a mix of Pitch oil and plaster of Paris, but that seems ok for smaller bits like jewellery. Not so good when i need a 12" bowl full. Plasticine works well but its hard work to get it moulded in and if you loose patience and heat it up  n the oven (sorry wife!) it gets very hot and painful to use and also looses some of its mojo after a few times, it goes all crumbly and nasty. I thought about it and resolved to add Vaseline/patrolium jelly as its basically chalk and jelly anyway. Its hard to mix, even the wife's Kenwood mixer eventually threatened to burn out. And its hellishly sticky when mixed rather too soft too. and When i used it it glued itself to the bowl with some tenacity. I had to scrub like mad to get it off. Pitch can be expensive and hard to get hold of. Seemingly in the Uk anyway, its not the roofers pitch usually but fancy Baltic pitch that's softer and its mixed with various things to make up bulk. I chanced on a web site that mentioned beeswax and plaster mix for the job, so thinking laterally. beeswax =expensive, ordinary wax cheep. i searched for wax on the net and found this site. thinking that modelling wax seemed ideal. However a phone call to the guy changed my mind he thought that wax would shatter when hit so recommended a more robust wax used as "sprue" for "lost wax casting". This stuff and rather impressively he was able to work out just how much would fill a bowl USING MATHS! (i could have with thought but would probably ended up just filling one with water) Anyway as i type i've melted some and a copper bowl is sitting full to the brim in the kitchen awaiting my punches.
The advantage of wax is that it melts easily (at about 60 to 70degrees) Pitch is messy and melting it out of the horribly easy to melt pewter didn't appeal. Lets see ah!