I recycle all the silver scraps that accumulate at my jewelry bench. I heat the metal up and usually cast it into molds that I have created. Sometimes, I run out of forms and still have hot molten metal in the crucible. One option is to pour the metal into a jar of water. The reaction of the cold water and the hot metal is so fun to see. There's a sharp sizzle, like fireworks. And then there's a precious free form of solid metal. No two are ever alike.
Here are some results of a recent melting session. Notice the colors? How could this be silver? Well, sterling silver is 925/1000 parts silver. The other 75/1000 parts is copper. Some of what you see are the copper reactions. Also, silver, like other metals, changes colors based on heat and other factors.
Here's one that looks like a secret little pod. I added a tiny silver sphere (also recycled silver) and twisted some silver wire to create this ring. After I clean it, it becomes a shiny bright silver color. I add a dark antique patina, to enhance the mystery of the pod and to highlight the details.
This ring is available for sale in my Etsy shop. There will never again be another one exactly like it. Just like you!
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.