One of my "bucket-list" techniques to learn was how to reticulate sterling silver. There are lots of videos and how-to's for this technique, but it basically entails heating the sterling silver sheet until it glows light pink - hold it at this temperature for 2 minutes, and carefully drop it in your heated pickle. This stage of the process is called depletion gilding, whereby a layer of fine silver is created at the surface of the silver sheet. Repeat this heat/pickle process 3 times, until the surface of the silver turns frosty white (and it really did turn frosty white - I was excited)!
The next stage of torching involves focusing the heat slowly over the surface of the sheet until it turns a dull red. As you move your flame away, the surface layer crinkles and folds and creates my favorite thing in the whole world - texture!.
While my first try at this process was not what I would call stellar, there is some texture going on here! Of course I forgot to take a picture of my entire sheet (I was excited to use it), but as you can see, there is lots of missed opportunity for texture on my sheet below.
But, I was able to use a few areas of this reticulated sheet and I made a few charms...so far.
First up, I had these gorgeous porcelain drops from Scorched Earth with a glaze called Hematite Shimmer. I swear, in natural light (not under my photo lights, unfortunately), they ooze glitter! I even took the earrings outside to photograph, but as soon as I opened the door, I was accosted by the insane humidity and turned right back around.
Next up, some handmade porcelain charms by Carol Dekle of TerraRusticaStudio. These are such a pretty light blue..almost turquoise color.
I love using porcelain beads/charms - they are so lightweight and easy-peasy to wear.
The next pair also feature porcelain charms by Carol - pretty texture and a lovely Evergreen color. I paired these with two itty bitty sterling silver hollow beads that I made.
My favorite pair of earrings feature Carol's Tree of Life porcelain charms. In researching its origin, I read so many interpretations of this ancient symbol...these are my favorites:
A Cosmic Family tree, telling ancient stories of shared roots that link to the past, showing connected struggles and aspirations, and desires to reach for the light.
Similar to a Family Tree, the symbol illustrates roots and branches where one has both diverged and joined. It shows where we come from and who comes from us.
It also carries the meaning that we are all related to the Cosmos - humans, animals, earth family, beyond earth family, etc. All of these Cosmos are inter-connected ...DNA and chemicals link us and it is this link where we find compassion and tolerance.
I paired these charms with tiny copper beads that I textured and rolled, along with some sterling silver because...come on...MIXED METAL! Yum!
Carol also gave me several porcelain cabochons to play with. I used the first one to make a ring.
What I love about this cab is that she has cut facets into the sides...which are NOT symmetrical. I hand stamped the back plate, and was successful with my second split shank!
The split shank is fast becoming my favorite! It looks substantial, but unlike a wide band ring, it is so comfortable to wear!
I started cutting some silver for cuffs, with the intention of stamping some designs. That will have to wait until tomorrow!
Thanks so much for stopping by..I truly appreciate it!