Saturday, June 9, 2012

Electroforming

I have someone coming today to find out how to electroform - so its find all the electroforming equipment and paint and chemicals and set up

Luckily I know where everything is - getting pretty organized in my studio  finally

Items you need
Electroforming copper paint -   Safer Solutions (my choice: http://www.safer-solutions.com/safer-solutions.com/International_Sales.html), Caswell or Dalmar (easyplate solution)

Copper wire - I used about 10g  and 24g
Copper plating solution :  Rio Grande - Caswell

Plastic or glass container - I use a galss beaker as you can put a cover on it after use

Rectifier - Rio Grande - Caswell or make your own

Here is pic of what the paint looks like :   Nice color -
You paint it onto your glass or ceramic etc...  If the item is organic like a dragon fly, a plant you need to seal it with a laquer - spray or dip etc... let dry and then paint over it 

This simplified set up has been the same one I've used - by Kate Fowle Meleney 
the outside copper wire has the red clip (positive)  the center  wire is independant  (single piece of 10g wire) and does not touch the side wire and  is connected to the black clip (negative)  the tape in the picture  just keeps them in place so they do not stray and touch the side wires.

the copper annodes are touching the side copper (positive) I just bend them over the 10g wire  rather than punching a hole and suspending from wire - but that is a preference .  The center  10g copper wire  (negative) holds the 24g wire that I wrapped around it and  have connected to the painted piece.  Somewhere on the piece I have the 24g touch the paint thus conducting the amps 


the side 10g copper  wire I bent in half - then bent down (see to the left) made hooks at each end to sit on top of the glass beaker-  this gets the red positive clip-   on the side pieces of this 10g copper wire  I hang the copper anodes  - any copper you have around they dont have to be perfect - long as there is enough copper hanging in the solution  for what your covering - as this is where the copper is taken from and then applied to your piece.
The rectifier - I got from Rio Grande - have always been happy with this 


This one is from Caswell (both Canada and USA have these )
Less expensive than Rio - your choice 

I have a bunch of the Rio Grande copper solution - but the next batch will come from Caswell as I can pick it up and it will cost less for me 


Erie looking ceramic face perfumery bottle suspended in the solution - IT'S ALIVE !    MWAH HA HA 

You must ensure that the piece has a copper wire connection - in this case a 24g wire I pushed inside and then put the end touching the paint - the other end I wrapped around the center copper wire to suspend from and the black clip is connected completing the circuit.

depending upon the amperage you can get different effect - high you get bumpy and dull , they say ideal is bright copper penny or lower you get a dull and smooth look.  

the face ended up with warts and all - why warts - I was in a rush to make a sample  and the paint was on a bit too thick and not completely dry - plus the amps were up high and thus it bubbled -kind of a neat effect either way 


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful explanantion. The very first bead I bought was electroformed, and I love the look. I would really like to try, but it looks pretty stuff-intensive (just like torch-firing enamel ... my last expensive undertaking!)

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  2. its the rectifier that is the real cost - but some have made their own from a battery - but I could never find the time to make one . Sorry to hear about the torch firing - Its a lot less expensive than lampworking though

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