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
. 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!