Sunday, June 13, 2010

This an example of Paul De Lamerie. and a very good reason to keep lead out of the studio if possible.(and ofcouse for your own health) To me it is interesting how silver seems to be softer over time. I have a theory, the more a silver object is handled by human hands the softer it becomes. When you have a museum quality object to work upon, it is best to do the least amount of work on it as possible. Thinking this through is important. No need to rush on a very valuable piece.
Assortment of gloves for work, I use for polishing, bench work, hammer work, repairing antique pieces with lead. Which brings up the subject of lead. Lead work must be kept separate from other work, especially gold and silver. I have different soldering blocks for lead filled pieces and for the gold work, and for the silver work. I keep everything separate, including files and soldering tools. I learned the hard way. Contaminating a gold ring and ruining it with particles of lead, I thought I had cleaned up. I would suggest being very careful, in what you accept for work. If you can avoid antiques with weighted parts, do so. All Sheffield Plate is weighted by lead. Plated work is often weighted by lead. When they first invented Electroplating or as we know it today as plating,  the companies went wild making things that looked very elaborate and expensive, but were really plate filled with lead. An illusion of opulence, I call it.