Thursday, February 23, 2012

Silver is taking off again.

Okay I've been watching and Silver has already started to inch up. It has been holding steady for quite some time around $30 spot... today it went above $35. I believe it will go on another run up to $40-50 by end of second quarter, so if you need materials, get them soon. It seems expensive, yes -- the old days are gone -- but if you think about it you make money on it as it rises if you buy it soon enough to catch the increase.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Argentium Silver

I was asked recently the best way to avoid fire scale on pieces when soldering and I recommended using the Argentium silver from Rio Grande. It costs a little more than normal sterling but will probably be worth it to solve this problem, or at least help minimize it.

In case you haven't seen a Rio findings catalog lately then you should get one. Call them at 800-545-6566 and request one. If you tell them that you are an Instructor you will probably get it free, I have never paid for one. The catalog is huge nowadays... beads, display furniture, dichroic glass, etc. Also, there are so many types of raw materials available that you don't even have to do the pre-work yourself. I'm talking about Reticulated sheet, Cuzco-Pattern Mokumé Gane, and even silver plated copper (to cut costs) and more. I did all this stuff by hand years ago but silver was $5 an ounce then... who can experiment very much these days.

So in order to broaden the range of pieces you are making and save a lot of work, try some of these other forms of pre-fabricated materials to make bigger pieces cheaper with more interesting results.