Sunday, November 7, 2010

Progress with electroforming

Finally, I got something I like, although it is still just an experiment.  This pendant is an image transfer on a thin piece of white Premo clay.  I sealed the transfer and after it dried,  I painted on the conductive paint.   Next I glued on the quickly-done, home-made bail and put more conductive paint around the base.   I thought that the bail would also get covered in new copper so it would blend seamlessly into the "frame" but for some reason it didn't.  In addition, I was  hoping the copper would build up enough around the bail to give it a secure hold.  The bail seems to be tightly attached to the frame, but because the clay is so thin, when I pushed the bail back and forth to test the strength of the bond, it started to pull the frame away from the clay.  When I do this for real, I will make the clay thicker, the frame wider, and I'll figure out a better bail.  (I added a bail because it is difficult to suspend an object in the bath when there is no hole in it.)

Anyway, I really like that I could use an image transfer without getting any discoloration caused by the blue plating solution.  Although I got very little discoloration on the white back of the piece, sealing the image is a must.   Now to go experiment with Liver of Sulfur, something I have never used before.

A word of caution when electroforming.  The blue solution is a kind of acid.  Even though I was being careful,  one of the wires caught on something as I was removing it from the piece and it flipped a tiny little splash of the solution uncomfortably close to my eye.  Since it seems to be a mild acid, it didn't burn my skin, but I imagine it could do nasty things to an eye.  So, WEAR A SPLASH PROOF EYECOVERING.  Mine was sitting right there on the table.....

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