Thursday, 18 April 2013

Is this cheating?

Maybe... But it sure makes reticulation easy!

I'm not adverse to using short cuts and methods that make the jewellery making process a bit simpler and quicker (using ready fluxed solder paste instead of traditional solder strips and separate flux is the perfect example of this!).

Our recent blog post was about reticulating silver and touched on the clever crinkle metal that we stock. Here you can see a bit more information about it and why it is not only great as a short cut to achieve the reticulated texture but also has some benefits over the traditional method too.  

This metal starts out as flat silver sheet, with a blue ink pattern printed on one side (to show you which side will reveal the texture).

As soon as you bring the metal up to temperature with the flame of a gas torch it will instantly reticulate. Hence the phase 'Just heat to reticulate!'.

It's literally that easy.
It's not just a case of time saving as one of the real benefits of this metal is that it will hold its shape allows for more freedom of design. With traditional reticulation it can often be hit and miss and often the finished reticulated metal dictates the design of the piece. With crinkle metal though you can dome the metal and form it into the shape you want and then heat it - it instantly forms the texture and retains the shape you formed it into.

As you can see in these two photos the metal holds its domed shape perfectly.

You can see in this photo how one side of the metal crinkles and the other remains smooth.

To find out more about crinkle metal click here.

This brooch pin by Kernowcraft Jeweller, Pete Hodge, shows a piece of traditional reticulated silver and how the 'happy mistake' of the method can dictate the design. A hole started to develop during the reticulation process, so this lent itself to a brooch design where the hole would become the  area where the pin would hold the brooch onto the jacket.

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