Jewellery Making Techniques: Dabbling with Electroforming

I have been rather quiet since the end of summer 2017 by way of blogging but I have been a little busy! I thought I would use the seeing in of the New Year to write a little bit about what I have been up to in the world of handmade jewellery and craft.  

I have been attending a few different jewellery making classes (always a student!), temporarily side stepping the traditional silversmithing techniques I usually use. As I discussed with a(nother creative) friend recently, when you have a creative streak, sometimes it is hard to stick to just one craft or technique! I think you get bitten by the "making and doing" bug.

Electroforming with Penny Akester

So my first stop (and what this blog is about) is electroforming, which is a bit of an erratic (exciting?!) process essentially connecting an object to metal and then transferring that metal onto the object using electrical current. We were using copper as our base metal.


I was excited to take along lots of natural objects I had picked up over the years. I also had a few I had picked up over the summer on my holidays last year to Parga in Greece and Suffolk and some I had gathered with the onset of autumn.  This included an array of shells, seaglass and a poppy seed pod. I thought my bounty was good until I saw what Penny had! Sea urchins, huge acorns, starfish. It was hard to select just a few items!

See the outcome of the weekend in the photograph collage. It was an interesting experience and one I am still wondering about. Some of the copper didn't quite transfer to the items, especially those which were heavily porous, despite many coats of sealant and conductive paint, and the long timings involved meant my patience was tested. But still, what a wonder to discover the results when the objects were removed from their wires and out of the chemical baths they were sloshed in! Transformed, even if a little rough around the edges! Some were then given a silver plating using more chemical processes and some were only coated partially in copper (see the shell) so that the natural beauty of the object remained visible.

It was a thought-provoking weekend and one I would highly recommend.  See more details by visiting Penny's website.

COMING SOON: see how I got on with the inspiring ancient Korean gilding technique of keum-boo and a nature-inspired silver clay class!