Luscious Metals ~ Luscious Light

February 22, 2010

Meet the Pickle

Filed under: meet the studio,natha perkins. luscious metals,pickle — natha @ 1:51 am

Welcome to the third installment of our Meet the Studio Series. This is our “bench”. It looks like utter chaos but believe it or not-, I know where everything is (sort of). Right behind the soldering block, you can see our “pickle pot”. We use a very high tech and expensive piece of equipment to clean our metal post-fire. It’s called a crock pot. This particular crock pot was purchased at a thrift store about 7 years ago for about $5. It’s had a hard life boiling acid (well technically, you aren’t supposed to boil the acid but sometimes I get distracted…) Anyway, it’s not pretty but our little pickle pot has done a good job for us all these years and we love it.

When we put a flame to metal it causes a chemical reaction called oxidation. Oxidation causes a skin on the metal that we refer to as “fire scale”.

By soaking the metal in heated acid, we remove a good bit of the fire scale. We need the fire scale gone for two reasons- we need the metal clean in order to solder again and we also need it clean so that we can polish it and get the lovely finish that one expects from a lovely piece of jewelry.

After the metal soaks in the pickle for 15 minutes or so, we neutralize it by dipping it in a baking soda solution.

The very first teacher I had for metal smithing never told me about acid neutralization, so for the first year of working with metal I kept getting tiny holes in my pants from dripping acid on them! That’s one of the interesting things about this craft, there are a million different ways to do one thing and the technique you are taught sometimes makes the difference between easy or difficult mastery of said technique.

February 14, 2010

TV Time

A few months ago, Sari Padorr, a freelance writer from The Denver Post featured my work in the Saturday Section of the Post, in an article about Colorado metal artists. Well Sari came through for me again and connected me with the producers of The Everyday Show on Fox 31 News in Denver. I was interviewed by Libby Weaver on a segment with 2 other local women to talk about Valentine Jewelry. It was a total blast! Watch the segment here.

It was very cool to be behind the scenes, see the sets, the camera people, watch how they cut for breaks and count down to live air time. The producers were so friendly and Libby Weaver and Natalie Tysdal, the anchors we spoke to, were so sparkly and approachable- and pretty- wow!

I presented both Natalie and Libby, as well as the producers of the show (and Sari too- thanks again Sari!) with their very own Sweetheart Necklace (with charms from the new line) inscribed with the names of their kiddos and they were all so pleased. Look for them being worn on air- both said they would. And they loved their pieces!

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