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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Adventures in Electroforming: Searching for Blorp

One of the things that really draws me to electroformed jewelry pieces is the organic and non-controllable way that the metal seems to ooze around the object being electroformed.  Here are a few pictures I found online from artists' pieces that made my heart flutter:

Sticks Stones and Bones
https://www.sticksstonesandbones.com
Mithrim Elven Jewelry
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MithrimElvenJewelry



Queen Curiosities
https://www.etsy.com/shop/QueenCuriosities















So full disclosure: I haven't figured it out yet.  But I am getting closer!

I think the issues I was facing at first was a bad electroplating bath.   I followed a recipe in a book that was just... wrong.  My pieces were coming out glittery. I did a little more research, bought a thingy to measure PH and added a shiton of acid to my mix.  The proper recipe is on the Reddit electroforming wiki

My very first attempts.  Spikes and glitter can be seen around the edges, as well as the striation from having a still bath.  May 11, 2019

The next batch was much better, but still no blorp.  I decided at that point that I likely didn't leave it in long enough (not enough build up) and had my amps up way too high (had spikes instead of blorps) at the onset.

I think I had a a-ha moment in between batch 1 and 2 as well where I convinced myself that the blorp I was after could only be achieved by adding my own texture before putting my object into the electrobath.

In these pieces, I added 2 different types of sand from my nearby beach; a fine grit and a pretty chunky grit that I had to go out of my way to find.  I added the sand directly to my graphite paint and am keeping it separate for future use when I want this look:
My first attempt at pendants with crystals.  May 15 2019

My latest attempt I made I left the piece in for about 26 hours.  I also put it in my rock tumbler for 3 hours which I think helped round out the edges some.  I did not use the textured paint as I have come to believe that that was a red herring.
My first organic experiments, May 25, 2019
Amethyst and Magnolia branch 
Sirs, I do believe I see some blorp around the edges!   I have a piece in the bath in my workshop as I write this.  By the time I get to pulling it out, it should have been in there for approximately 32 hours.  I can't wait to get home and see how it looks!

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