Thursday, March 8, 2018

Electroforming with Recycled Copper

I've spent most of the past year working on my other shop, Sleepless Storyteller. Sure, I'm still upcycling and recycling whenever and however possible. But I've been focused on the design side of things, most recently, electroforming.

While I would be happy to list some recycled copper at Beyond Junk for anyone who is interested, today's post is more of a conceptual one. Electroformed crystal pendants and rings are one of the hottest trends in metal jewelry at the moment. Regardless of whether it stays trendy or not, I plan to be plating my own jewelry at home for some time to come.

One of the least discussed elements of this technique is the capacity to create almost entirely with recycled material. In the examples below, I have largely used new (to me) stones and gems, but plated with salvaged copper from electrical wire and scrap from a local metal shop.

If you decide to give home plating a try, be prepared to safely dispose of whatever you use for your plating solution. You'll need an acid bath that needs to be neutralized before being discarded.

Electroforming is a tricky process to get right, but once you nail it, keep practicing and you'll be able to produce a huge range of styles in either copper (much more common) or the elusive silver. As I'm new to this form, I plan to stick with copper. If you've tried plating in either metal, comment and tell me about your experience.