Burning More Stuff

by annalee on January 19, 2009

rosy ball end copper headpins by SassyDLite

The other day I finished an order of 26g fine silver headpins for a valued customer and while I was in the burning mode/mood I tried my hand at the copper headpins just for fun. Above is a picture of the result.

My friend Jamie of http://creationsbyJAE.etsy.com and I have been discussing these wonderful rosy ball ends on copper headpins. We’ve been trying to figure out how to achieve this. I found quelching in cold water works and apparently other approaches to achieving this effect exist.

Today I picked up some Oatey solder paste flux that makes melting larger gauge copper wire much easier. Warm vinegar and salt helps remove some firescale and burn residue (from coated craft type copper wire) but down the road I’ll prepare the Prips flux recipe and try that too.

I’ll continue experimenting with other quelching baths, and treatments, but for my own personal use, the results obtained thusfar will suffice!
until next time,
~Anna Lee




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Edward Simkins January 20, 2009 at 10:33 am

Pyromaniacs, unite! Coloring copper is a blast, and fun too. The red you are getting is Cuprous oxide (Copper I) or Cu2O. Half as much oxygen as Cupric (Copper II = CuO). Forget that, you won’t be tested on it. The black scale flakes off, leaving the red (oxygen-deprived)exposed. I’ve been able to get the best reds by using an oxidizing flame, heating repeatedly to cherry red, quenching in water in between. The red deepens at each heating. Another variable is flux- too much removes all oxidation but small amounts, especially if you overheat (which you did intentionally) give the most brilliant reds. You still get variation even when you think you’re doing it the same way every time- part of the beauty in those pin heads. I think I’ll do a post of some samples I did a while ago, you’ve got me thinking…

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