Silver

The History on Silver The word silver is from the Anglo Saxon name, “seolfor”, and from the Latin name Argentum, we obtain the periodic table symbol for silver, Ag. This precious metal was only discovered 2000 years after gold in 4000bc. Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians used Silver before they knew what exactly it was; but what they were actually using was a metal alloy called Electrum, which is an alloy of Silver and Gold. They didn’t even have a name in their vocabulary for what they were using, and referred to it as “white metal”. Once the discovery has been made, it was deemed even more precious than Gold! Silver has a special place in the history of the elements because it is one of the first five metals discovered and used by humans. The others were gold, copper, lead and iron.  Silver has been in use since prehistoric times, and we do not know who discovered it.  Ancient people even figured out how to refine silver.  They heated the silver ore and blew air over it, a process called cupellation. The silver does not react to the air, but the base metals such as lead and copper oxidize and separate from the precious metal. Silver forms in star explosions called supernovae, as does gold. A study published in September 2012 in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics found that smaller stars that explode produce silver, while larger stars produce gold. Silver really exploded on Earth, however, when Europeans landed on the New World in 1492. Spanish conquerors discovered that South America was home to rich veins of silver and silver ore, and they mined that wealth enthusiastically; according to the Silver Institute, an industry trade group, 85 percent of the silver produced worldwide came from Bolivia, Peru and Mexico between 1500 and 1800. Very large pieces of it have been found, such as those found in Read More

Is casting ‘handmade’?

I have been thinking about the process of casting jewelry for quite some time now, and if it still constitutes as ‘Handmade’ and thought I would post a few thoughts. There are a couple of methods in which jewelry can be casted, and all the methods requires some degree of skill, fabricating and finishing the pieces by hand.  I cast quite a few items in my range, and 80% of those casted pieces is ‘duplicates’ of the original that was created by myself. Let talk about Wings for a second… First of all, the concept is designed on paper. From there, it is transferred to a Drawing program on my computer, and more design elements are drawn in, or taken out. Then the design is transferred to sheet metal and pierced out.  Depending on the amount of detail that is in the design, this part of the process can take several hours. The pendant, in this case a Butterfly Wing, is then sanded down, and polished. If there is any thought that another client might want the same design later on, I make a mold of the pendant, so that  it can be casted in the future, rather than taking  hours to re-create. The casting still needs to be sanded, polished and finished by hand, and in my book, all of the above equals to HANDMADE. Casting items also doesn’t mean easier…  There are many things that can go wrong in the casting process, and its up to me to scrap it, and re-cast, or save the casting. The problem with most SA consumers it that they don’t take the time to appreciate the journey of handmade items.  The hours of research, concept development, design time, fabricating & finishing time, hours and money spent on skills development, and general workshop Read More

The process of making a ring

The process of making a ring Making and designing a ring might not sound like a whole lot of work to the person buying online or walking into the studio to purchase, but in reality, there are so many steps involved, it would make you stop and appreciate the skill and craftsmanship going into it if you knew. Fine Silver & Sterling Silver All rings starts out a pure Silver extracted from the earth.  I buy Silver granules from a Metal supplier who in turn buys from the mines. Fine Silver (99.9% pure) is very soft and not suitable for ‘every day wear’ rings.   By adding copper, Fine Silver becomes Sterling silver and gets in characteristic hardness. Sterling Silver, is 92.5% parts of Fine Silver and 7.5% parts copper. Sometimes I buy Sterling Silver granules from my supplier other times I will buy Fine Silver granules, and add the 75 parts Copper myself when smelting. The purity of Silver that I purchase depends mainly on the items that I want to make.   Then I receive the granules, they are placed into a crucible for smelting. Definition of a crucible: Modern crucibles may be small laboratory utensils for conducting high-temperature chemical reactions and analyses or large industrial vessels for melting and calcining metal and ore; they may be made of clay, graphite, porcelain, or a relatively infusible metal. Sterling Silver melts at 893°C.  Larger amounts of Sterling Silver will take longer to melt.  The smaller the amount of Silver you are melting, the quicker the process is.  This batch took quite some time as there was about 250g of Silver to be melted.   When  the Silver is melted and molten, it is then poured into an ingot (pictured above on the left of the crucible). A quick dip in cold water quenches the metal, Read More

Introductions done and dusted

Hi! Welcome to my very first blog entry for Megan Goldner Designs! I am Megan Göldner, the creative designer, the CVO (Chief Visionary Officer), the manufacturer and my own tea lady 😀 My work is inspired by shapes, sizes, textures, colors, sounds and feelings that is evoked when I look at an object.  My desire is to create something you will cherish, something that will assist you on your life journey,  a heirloom that will be treasured and handed down for many generations. With an internet based shop (no brick and mortar for me!), it can get quite tricky sometimes to build relationships with my clients, seeing that I don’t get to meet them in person very often.   Facebook is a wonderful tool to learn customer buying trends, and what they like, and what they would rather give a miss, but a lot of the time, my clients will engage in conversation from the page, and I have made so many real life friends in that manner, it almost unbelievable. Thank you for sharing in my journey. ~Megan Read More