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Saturday, March 7, 2009


I managed to fuse a copper circle the other day after many failed attempts. I wasn't really sure what I was doing right or wrong. Sometimes the ends of the wire balled up on me; an outcome I really didn't want. And other times, the wire simply didn't fuse - it got really, really black and it didn't 'become one'. I kept practicing and trying. Over and over and finally, I got it! A lovely circle. What I did was form the circle, overlapping the ends by about 4mm, and then I hammered it flat so the ends were really meshed together. I then fluxed the whole thing and lit the torch to it on a really high flame. Success! It fused.

Today I played with sterling silver fusion, which is SO much easier. This time I didn't flatten the circles, I simply used a dowel to wrap my circle around, and cut them out; again, leaving about 4mm of overlap. I positioned the circle so that the cut ends of overlap touched each other very tightly. I put it on my soldering brick (simply a heat resistant brick found in the hardware store - buy the ones they put into woodstoves or the bottom of a fireplace), and put flux on the whole thing using a small paintbrush. Flux is available from your jewelry supply stores and is essential for fusing and/or soldering. I lit the torch and turned it up fairly high and made the metal red hot, focusing the flame on the place where the two ends touched. The hottest part of the torch is just past the blue flame. I watched closely as the metal got all beautifully liquidy and voila! joined to each other to form a fused circle. I was entirely fascinated by the process. I discovered that sterling is easier to fuse than copper and I found that it just takes practice.
Thanks for reading. Pictured is a pair of earrings I made.
The bottom circle is fused.

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