While my workshop was open over the weekend I used the opportunity to make a batch of my new seaside pieces for a couple of galleries. I find, when I have multiples of one thing to make, that I easily get into a good working rhythm and gain some good working momentum.
I’m fairly new to reticulation though and I have to watch these pieces like a hawk to avoid melting them! Lately I’m getting a better feel for how the surface textures of the silver changes, and how to spot the warning signs of over heating – but when started out it was all rather trial and error.
So, you start off with your nice, shiny wire:
and get heating, with a nice, gentle, feathery flame. I use charcoal bricks to support work that I’m reticulating – it tends not to stick to the charcoal and the heat reflects really nicely (which helps to keep the temperature even through the metal). There’s a brilliant tutorial on Ganoskin which takes you through the process and a quick video of me reticulating the wire here. With this being the end result:
Going back over the piece with a slightly more intense flame, right at the end, seems to even out the surface really well too. Once it’s all pickled clean for the final time it’ll look something like this:
these polish up beautifully into a texture that proves to be wearing ever so well: