I design and produce jewellery of massive 925 sterling silver. This kind of silver consists of 925 parts silver and 75 parts copper. All mechanisms and clasps I use are also made of sterling silver – my jewellery is therefore nickel free.
Each piece of jewellery is made by hand in my studio in Mörlunda, Sweden. On this page you'll find some information about the techniques I use. You can thus gain an impression of the steps required until a piece of jewellery is finished.
Instructions for a homemade silver bath and useful information about silver can be found at the bottom of this page.
A model is created with modelling wax and provided with sprues. Then a heat-resistant fluid is poured over the model.
After the fluid has hardened the vax is burnt out in an oven at about 800°C and we get a hollow mould. Now the silver is melted with a flame. The liquid metal is then pressed into the hollow space of the mould by means of centrifugal force in a casting machine.
The mould is taken away from the cast object. The object is put into an acid bath to get rid of the oxide layer that was formed during the casting. For this pickling I don't use sulfuric acid but the more nature-friendly citric acid.
The wax model as well as the casting mould are destroyed after a lost-wax casting. If the cast fails, the whole work was therefore in vain and one has to start all over again.
1) casting object after pickling and removal of sprues
2) result after further treatment of the surface in several steps
3) repeated glowing...
4)...and pickling in citric acid in order to whiten the silver
5) finished piece of jewellery with frosted surface and polished details
6) view into the inside
Degrease the tarnished silver piece, for example with acetone.
You'll need a small bowl (no metal), aluminium foil, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, hot water.
Let piece stay in bath for 10 minutes, rinse with clear water and rub with a soft cloth or kitchen paper.
This was the result after described method. If needed, the time can be extended.
INFORMATION ABOUT SILVER:
- High quality silver is soft und can get scratches or little marks as traces of wear.
- Frosted surfaces can partly become shiny after a while.
- Silver has the property to tarnish.