Robin Phillips Jewelry

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Married Metal

married metal 'zig zag' necklace

Married metal is a term used to describe the process of soldering different metals together using high temperature solder. I usually use a combination of silver, gilding metal, nickel silver and copper, although other metals can be used.

After soldering the pieces together, they can be re-cut and re-soldered thereby altering the pattern that had been initially formed. This can be done again and again, making the pattern quite intricate. When happy with the pattern, the piece must be filed back to clean away all the excess solder (and there is a lot!), revealing the subtle pattern beneath.

The finished piece can be coloured by introducing an open flame which will intensify the colour of the metals, or it can be left to oxidise naturally. Sometimes I use a sealant to keep the colour permanent. I usually set the piece as I would a stone because to solder it again I run the risk of the joins opening and the piece buckling.