Over the last couple of weeks I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone quite a lot, with conferences and social engagements, and also in ways relating more directly to my business. I am now selling on Amazon Handmade for instance (although at the moment my shop is pretty much empty - putting up listings is time consuming!). But the most unusual thing I’ve been doing has been learning an entirely new skill - electroforming!
Electroforming is a technique used to plate non-metallic objects with metal. I have started out using copper for plating - my research informed me that it would be the easiest place to start, and also it adds a new metal to my collection, making the pieces I am creating really stand out from my existing designs. I’ve been plating star anise pods, and caps for crystal points, and also ivy leaves, although the latter have been less successful so far!
The process involves mixing up a big bucket of blue chemicals under an extractor hood, wearing protective gloves and goggles and mask - it was a real Walter White moment. Then you rig up your tank (bucket of danger!!) to an electricity supply, and dunk in the items you’re plating, which have been previously sealed and painted with a conductive paint*. Over the course of a few hours the electric current causes the copper particles to adhere to the surface of the items. Apparently this is because Science, but to be honest when it works well it feels more like Magic.
The end result is so exciting, with each item completely unique because they are all based on natural pieces. I have so many exciting ideas for things I can create and plate. If you haven’t already, go sign up for my newsletter so that you’ll be the first to know when I list these new designs in my shops.
*Please note, this is not in any way intended to be a How To guide or set of instructions - there are many excellent, free tutorials with all the actual detail you need to try this yourself - PLEASE don’t try to use this vague description as instructions! It would be dangerous to do so!)