Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Reminder: Metallic Elements with Janet Rose

For everyone who is going to the Metallic Elements dayschool with Janet Rose, the requirements list is here:

http://birminghamembroiderersguild.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/november-dayschool-metallic-elements.html

The requirements list is quite long, but very informative, so please try to read it before the session!

Please be aware that if you want to use recycled metals, you will need to bring your own puree tubes and drinks cans. The cans have to be aluminium, so Diet Coke/Coke, Carlsberg and other aluminum cans will work, but Pepsi will not.

The recycled metals have to be preheated - see below for Janet's instructions. You can also do this if you have a powerful burner on your gas hob.

Metals are softened when heated (annealing) and copper and brass shim also produce lovely colours. If your metals have not been heated try the following methods before you bring them to the workshop. Always hold the metal in wooden tongs or heat proof glove etc. and have a tray/dish of cold water for emergencies but try to cool the metal down slowly if possible. Using a small blow torch move the flame across the metal shim/mesh until it begins to change colour (copper shim turns orange, followed by pink, blue/green and then darker to burnt the longer you heat it). Too long it will blacken. Start slowly and stop as soon as you have achieved some attractive colouring. A candle or nightlight will also work but more soot is created which can be washed off afterwards. A heat gun can also be used to heat and colour the metal but it takes a little longer and the heat gun needs to be 300watts or higher to be effective. Take care not to have your heat gun on for too long as it may burn out!
Note Puree tubes and drinks cans are aluminium and usually coated with a protective surface. When heating (annealing) make sure you are in a well- ventilated area and wear a mask as protection as fumes can be released. These metals do not usually change colour when heated but they all vary so give them a try. Just take sensible precautions and work slowly and carefully.

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