Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Silver by post

I ordered some silver and a few other items from Cookson Gold last week and they arrived as promptly (and as well packaged) as ever. I was struck, as I am every time I order precious metals, by how small the parcel is when it arrives. Sterling silver is still not getting any cheaper to purchase...

When I started working with silver, a little over ten years ago now, although silver wasn't cheap and I was soon taught to squirrel away all the offcuts (and even the dust) to reuse, refine and recycle, it was still possible to have some fun with it, to experiment with it, and to try out new ideas. Now that experimental medium has become copper, or aluminium, or even steel. Don't get too excited though, as the price of base metals has also increased dramatically over the last decade.

My silver purchases - jump rings and wire

Cookson has, amongst other gems on their website, a rather neat little page for checking metal prices, both current and up to 20 years in the past. You can chose from silver or gold or various other precious metals like platinum, and discover how the prices have altered over time. The hikes in the price in the last five years are quite frightening...

Back to my parcel. I've also invested in something a little new. A few years back I did a short course in silver clay (pmc), but thought I'd now try some copper clay. As I've not used this before, or indeed any metal clay for a while, I'm approaching this with some trepidation. I've yet to open the packet - must know what I'm going to make first! - but it's quite slim so I'll chose my project with care.

Anyone else used copper clay? I'd love some hints and tips, or links to any creations.

I also purchased some anti-tarnish pads but, trust me, they're not worth a photo...

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