Accidents, they're a good thing!

October 18, 2017



I was playing around yesterday with my little bits of copper shim and scraps of different materials. I had some left over little bits of pewter, so thought i'd try to melt the pewter on top of the copper and see how it worked. I thought it would just melt over the surface like the silver had been doing, this is what happened...

The pewter melted at first but then suddenly burned through the copper, making the copper melt much quicker than it did when I had just been using heat by itself. - not only this but, as you can see, it also left a blob on the surface and at closer inspection it almost looks crystallised. 


I loved the result so tested it again..

 I quite simply, again, just placed the pewter on top of the copper and heated it.


To create the nickel silver piece underneath I did things slightly differently. The metal was thicker anyway so it wouldn't have melted like the copper shim did.


Firstly I sanded the surface to help encourage the pewter to stick and then coated it with flux. After this I heated the pewter until it turned to a liquid, let it cool for a few seconds and then used a tool to spread the pewter across the surface; this left me with some great and interesting textures.


Now Silver!


I have always loved working in silver, I wish I could all the time however; with the experimental nature of this project in particular, I just wouldn't have the funds to do so. Also I think the copper works extremely well with the theme.


So, I was basically playing around with silver wire just to see how I could incorporate a more high class element into my work...



 This was my first accident, and was quite a break through really. The intention was to melt the wire a little bit to see if it would 'stick' to the metal. To create this I:


1. Cut some copper shim

2. Coated it in flux

3. Curled the silver wire into a 'rococo' inspired curl and placed it on top of the copper shim

4. Heated using the blow torch


I am still not sure what the perfect technique is to create this, but I slowly started to figure it out


I found that heating the metal slowly first to encourage the silver to almost 'stick' to the copper, helped to encourage it to melt through in the shape I wanted.


As you can probably see, after heating the silver wire it actually melted through my copper shim and so I was then left with a burned hole in the shape of my rococo curl. 


This amazed me, I would have never of thought to do that. Ever!


This then fuelled several more ideas, as you can probably imagine. - if you look closely at the piece below you will see several little curls, some more obvious than others.


I love the idea of people having to look closely at your work to be able to appreciate the finer and more interesting details.



This was like my 'final piece' that I created, combining all of the inlaying techniques that I had tought myself yesterday. 


The piece on the right handside with the silver curl on was the technique I was trying to do in the first place. It was much more tricky to create this that I first thought. To create this piece I:


1. Coated copper shim in flux

2. Melted the edges

3. Placed a 'silver curl' onto the surface

4. Heated it really gently


This piece was so much harder than I expected. There is a fine line between not heating the wire enough so that it doesn't stick, and then heating it too much so that it melts away. I found heating it slowly was best so you can try and figure out the right temperature etc.



Moving on from this I wanted to see how the effect would work on standard copper (I can't quite remember how thick it was, but was much thicker than the shim nevertheless) 


I found that (by slowly heating, like with the other techniques) the silver burned through the copper a little bit, and then eventually  melted and spread across the surface. 


This left me with, as you can see in the above image, a 'rococo curl' impressed and a textured silver surface. 


Unlike the other samples I pickled this one as I wanted to see how it would look all polished up.


So, as I said earlier, I created this bangle piece by combining all of the above techniques. The band itself is made from crimped copper with silver inlay elements.


I'm so happy with this, drilling the samples for the rivets was probably the most awkward part as they are so tiny and delicate (and got hot so quickly), but I managed it!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

China Halls

February 19, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts

March 6, 2019

February 19, 2019

February 19, 2019

January 29, 2019

January 16, 2019

December 11, 2018

December 11, 2018

November 29, 2018

November 4, 2018

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© 2017 created by Alexandra Brennan