Thursday Technique: Making Balled End Wire

I’ve been exploring further in my jewelry making journey: using torch to make balled end wire. It’s one of those materials shared in Perhiasan Kawat group on FB.

Several friends who could use torch kindheartedly shared their knowledge and experiences publicly and for free to other members in the group.

Actually I wasn’t too interested to try this, because I thought it will be too risky -using fiery equipment while I still have a toddler. I changed my mind later because my personal project design need balled end wire! I told my husband and he convinced me to invest my money in a micro torch.

So, I started my experiments with my new torches. Torches? Yes!!! You’re right. I have TWO torches at this moment 🙂
I wrote about them on last Tuesday Tools post.

Wire Materials, and so on 🙂
My first attempt making balled end wire was using fine silver wire. And I’m really glad I used it.
Fine silver melts quickly and the result is perfect. The ‘ball’ formed has smooth surface and bright silver colors.
I could say that it almost have no flux from firing process.

I tried sterling silver, but the ball wasn’t as good as fine silver wire did. You can see fire scale spreading from the ‘neck’ part (the wire part just right before the ball) to other part of wire which was heated during the torching process.
Other difference is the ball formed wasn’t as smooth as ball formed from fine silver. Somehow the ball surface have ‘wrinkles’ on it. But you could always remove the wrinkles by filling it.

Permanently colored copper wire, or enameled copper wire has similar result with sterling silver. I tried using Gold plated Artistic Wire without removing the enamel first. My fault, I know. The enamel produce smokes during torching process *sigh*
Oh, before I forget to mention this: they lost the colors during torching, so the ball color is copper (after you file the fire scale)

Here’s the picture:

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I found some non-enameled copper wire, and tried to make balled end with them too 🙂
*I know, I know, now it seems I can’t stop torching lol*
The result made me happier than enameled copper: it has fire scale of course, but the balled end has pretty smooth surface (insert my happy dance here)

The time needed for making balled end depends on the wire size: thicker wire take more time, thinner wire need less time.
Wire materials also have impact to the time needed: fine silver is the quickest one, sterling and copper (both enameled and non-enameled) take more time.
I also found that my two torches have their own advantages and setbacks, please read my previous Tuesday Tools post 🙂

For detailed pictures of my experiments please visit my FB page under the Exploriment album 🙂

See you on my next posts!!

xoxo,

ien