Week 6 has been and gone and what a week it was. Week 6 at Eskae Private Jeweller entailed me learning two very important techniques.
The first is a soldering technique where I learnt how to draw solder along a join between two pieces of metal. This involved placing a ball of gold solder on the opposite end of the join and then drawing it with heat to where I wanted it to run into. To draw the solder to where I wanted it to go, I used my flame to heat the area needing solder, as the solder heats up it turns liquid. The liquid solder is then drawn to the hottest area of the gold. You need to work fast when doing this, as the solder will run instantly to the hottest part of the join, and if the heat placement is incorrect the solder will go there instead of where I want it to go in the join. I used this technique in soldering some shoulder details onto the shoulders of a white gold engagement ring.
As well as learning this technique I perfected and got used to where I needed to hold my flame in relation to the metal which I am either heating or soldering. This is very important to a jeweller as consequences like holding the hottest point of the flame (the tip of the blue part of the flame) too close to the metal can either melt the gold completely or sweat the surface of the metal, known as reticulation. If this happens, you will need to file and emery paper back the bumps to make the piece smooth again.
Another important technique I learnt in week 6 was protecting a polished surface on a piece of designer jewellery from being tarnished while heating the piece up for either soldering or annealing etc. A great trick to prevent tarnishing especially with gold is to dip the piece into a boric acid and metho solution. By doing this, it puts a glaze or coating over the surface of the metal and protects the polished finish from oxidising created by the oxygen in the air coming into contact with a heated piece of gold.
Both techniques I learnt this week are very important in helping me to become a great jeweller in the future.
Until I talk to you again, it’s been another fun week at Eskae,