More Playing with Niobium - sponging method

On the weekend I played more with Niobium -  the problem is its over so fast - what takes the longest is preparing your metal for dipping - as with any project its get it to its most final stage before  annodizing your metal -  with Niobium  you  cannot  solder  - I thnk you can spot weld or something but that is not in the current budget to find out as yet .  So its basically  straight forward single pieces or cold connections such as rivets or tiny tiny screws -  which I got from RMS (Reactive Metal Studios)

so I prepared some rounded edge square  and some small hearts for earrings - wire -crimped  - punched holes  and cleaned  - but this time dapped them in a wooden dap set I have  - I noticed that  when metal on metal mashing I get gall or a metal rubbing on metal sort of stain on the metal that is hard to clean up  - using the wooden dap set was way better

then I cleaned again and  I read that  if you want a nice shiny surface put them in the tumbler with some shot - I put in for about 1 hours as that is all you really need -  and they came out nice and shinny - which gives it a better reflective surface - I use dish soap - usually the blue  Dawn and put a squirt in and just enough water to cover the shot -  once out of the shot I rinse and try not to handle too much and put any finger oils onto the piece

Now this time I wanted to try the sponge method - this is  having the red anode attached to the piece - using that nifty   one I got from RMS that has a niobium tip that locks onto the piece  and  I put a piece of sea sponge  clipped into the black anode ( keeping the rubber sleeve over the clip )
I soaked it in the tsp/water solution (supposed to be distilled water and tsp but I used bottle water or my filtered well water that has no chemicals in  - I will buy a bottle this week and try to see if any difference in color application ) 
Now I got confused - cause it worked - about the stainless steel anode -  but I think the stainless steel on the alligator clip may be the secret to it working  as I've seen them put the piece on stainless steel to apply -  but I held the red with the piece in my hand  and dabbed with the black/sponge 
I did plain - crimped some and made some crimped earrings using this method - 
in the end I ended up  dipping the parts at 75 amps  to get the nice purple background on both sides (as sponging only colors the side you sponge )  then up to  95 and then to 115  to get some varigation of color - and I love it 

in love with this method 

Quick Niobium video

So I did a quick video tonight on quickly and I mean quickly  anodizing a piece of niobium
I propped up my phone so its not a great video but it gives you an idea just how fast and magical it is

took a long time to upload - 

When I said  temperature - I meant voltage 

of course I really needed fresh  dip - just distilled water /I was using bottled or my well water that is filtered  and tsp  and this can affect how strong your colors are as well

Using a paint brush with Niboium -

I did a quick fix last night just to try  using a paint brush with the niobium -  I didnt have an extra  black anode  and putting it on a round feral on the brush  it popped off frequently so I grabbed a hammer and flattened  the feral  and the clip easily went onto the flat piece and did not pop off - was not an expensive brush  - but it was a quick fix to play - but I do want to make brushes with the  anode fixed to it as I think its safer  that way it has a rubber out side holding it place and you wont shock yourself
and painted on some niobium 

reactive metals has a cool pdf outlining how to create them along with instructions on page 5

Gotta Blog more - which mean I need to make things to show - Niobium Jewellery

the only thing I got even close to making last weekend  was some new niobium pieces for earrings
which I'll wire up possibly this weekend  so I can start to accumulate more things for my show

Just playing with basic shapes like  rounded squares  and circles - the squares I cut from 30 G niobium that I get from Reactive Metals
 (same price rio grande  sells as well- since they get through RMS) the hole punch tool is really nice from them much sturdier than the one I had before  (the old one on same material broke after about 5 uses- I can still get the pieces to fit and repair )  this new one just seams more solid - got from RMS.
Actually anodizing takes such little time and prep time for the metal takes the longest - its so cool to see instant results !

The circles I bought as circles 7/8" from RMS - pumched the holes with the hole punch they sell and then domed them with my dapping block -   one of the great things is the chemicals you use are household -  tsp - is a soap  - and that is the dipping bath -   of course there is a sheet of stainless steel in the bath (cathode)  attached to the black anode  and the plastic sheeting  that protects that sheet from you touching your positive pieces and causing and arc  can be bought at michaels in the section where they do embroidery - (also check Caswell in the USA and  Caswell in Canada for anodizing kits - includes anodizer - good price and comes with everything to start ) so after doming you need to  take off any sharp edges with simple small files and sand paper/nail files  then clean your pieces -  Simple Green is one of the best products to take oils and dirt off - most metal is processed with a thin film of oil for cutting and this cleans it off - once done -  if you want to have matching earrings you want to put them in side by side so that the lines of color are at the same level - to do this you must use either niobium or titanium wire to create a hanger (inverted V with little hooks on the end) of course size matters so that the ends fit into the holes you have punched and the red  anode  is clipped to the center ( rather than the alligator clip I got the cool clips RMS sells a mini grabber  (the pushy thing has a niobium wire to clip to ) its smaller than the end of the alligator clip - from there its put on my rubber gloves and within miutes its done - rinse and voila -  but its so much fun watching the bubbling action and the change in color is amazing such vibrant blues and purples, pinks and greens - I even tried resists - not great at it yet but getting there - resists is just a piece of plastic laminate - put onto the pice before  you dip - just remember that the dolor you choose for your secondary will be at a lower voltage than what you do the rest of the  non covered piece e.g    the bigger portion was done at 85 or higher  volts and the stars were done at 75 volts once I peeled the resist off - so many possibilities
another great site PDF  :
both anodizing niobium and aluminum a great read with pictures

Dear Inspiration - Where are you

It seems that this summer I have lost my muse /inspiration - I sit all day at work and think about what I'll do when I get home and what I want to try - but when I get there - POOF its gone - that push that excitement to rush to the studio to play and I have a big show end of October so it better kick in shortly  I need more plates and cheese trays and cut up more dichro pendants - I have a pile to do so need to get on that -

I packed up the glass enamels and pens and sent them off to my class  from ottawa  - making a custom 3x4" copper plate for someone - will be finished tonight - I hope ...- my fish went to the Painted Perch (where it didnt even place - although I cant feel bad I had fun making and taking a lot of flack to trying and putting dichro in with the tempered  - the one I thought would win - didnt place either )  but Ava got a 2nd for her fish so all was  great

Now I cant really complain as I've spent a lot of time with my grandkids this summer - I am off every friday  and we do things together -  made some cool cards with my ava - the youngest  last  friday  (plan to make more this friday ) she is learning all the techniques and anxious to go to the next  creative festival to learn more




living room disaster 
and my other granddaughter was making buttons 
the company button biz  sells the button backs and things to use with my button maker - and they have software on line that makes it easy to cut and paste what you want into the 2.25" circle  - I use the badge-a-minute  tools and they both love doing it 

Classes in Ottawa !

Had a blast teaching in Ottawa at GSS Flameworking
this studio has room for up to 11 people - and great  beginner classes as well - you can rent time  if you dont have the space for a lampworking studio in your home  or until you do
Great  Lampworking supplies and tools -   Grace  (owner) has some great glass in stock

Grace also has  gallery space you can rent by the month -  it makes total sense to pay the rent and consign your work there -  in most places they take a percentage of your sale here you just keep your rental space  filled and  if you sell 100.00 you get a 100.00  its a nice clean transaction ! I am definitely going to  put  my work up there for display - gong to have to get back there again shortly

The whole Ottawa area is lovely to visit and tour through

cant wait to go back