This week on Metalsmith Society I posted a fantastic tip from @jessicajo_designs about making perfect silver balls. I thought I would recap some of the additional information that members of the community talked about in the comments!
When you want to create super smooth, silver balls (for decorative elements), fine silver is the obvious choice! Amazing tip @jessicajo_designs -“I always have 20g fine silver wire on hand... then I can just measure and cut so I can create evenly sized balls and they melt down beautifully!” 🤯👩🏭🙏🏻😘 thank you for this image comparing fine silver on the left and sterling silver on the right. I don’t do many decorative balls in my own work and I was straight up unaware of this! #metalsmithsociety #jewelrytipoftheday #soldering #jewelrymaking #instasmithy #ladysmith
The tip is to use fine silver to melt into super smooth balls. In the post two silver balls are featured, the one on the left is fine silver (99.9% pure silver) and the one on the right is sterling (92.5% pure silver). The benefits of melting fine silver are that you can create smooth balls with greater ease than sterling silver, there is also no need to create divots in a charcoal block as they come out perfectly round.
If you don't have fine silver to work with there were some great suggestions made by the community in the comments section for working with sterling silver, and some general tips regardless of what kind of metal you use!
- Using sterling casting grain can be an easy way to add decorative balls without having to melt anything
- Slowly pulling your flame away from melting your balls can help them come out more smoothly
- Fluxing sterling helps them come out smoother
- Mixing fine silver and sterling scraps can also help you to create smoother balls
- Using jump rings or pieces of wire cut to the same length can help you create the same size balls
- Try melting silver on a piece of wood ( I'm excited to try this, but do be careful of starting a fire in your studio)
An alternative metal that was also mentioned by many people is Argentium silver, and that it balls up beautifully. Keep your eyes peeled for future posts on using Argentium silver.
Thank you to everyone who shared their knowledge on this awesome tip! If you end up experimenting with any of these tips we would love if you share it with us! You can use #metalsmithsocietyshare and tag us as well.
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