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Comment by Norm Stuart on June 23, 2013 at 1:15pm

Most helpful, and less waste to deal with than I'd thought.

Comment by Robert Coyle on June 23, 2013 at 11:35am

Actually the process is fairly complicated. When most potters are done, I am only half way through with my piece.

I first incise my leather hard pots and then bisk them. After the bisk, I mask the areas I wish to electroform and glaze the pot.

After the final firing, I epoxy the gemstone in and then paint it with several coats of shellac. The reason I do that is that the turquoise will dissolve in the acid copper solution if I do not seal it really well.

Then I paint the incised area with electro-conductive paint. Once that drys, I put it in the plating bath for two to four days... depending on the look I want to get. There is no physical solder connection between the cathode terminal and the conductive surface.

I built a jig out of plastic that the pot sits on. Wires come down from the top and make point contact with the electro-conductive paint. The wires are stiff enough so that I can bend them to make contact at any point I want. I usually use several wires to speed up the initial plating process.

Once the piece comes out of the plating, I wire brush it and do a chemical patina. The copper patina is similar to raku. The sheen stays pretty much as it is unless the pot is in a very corrosive atmosphere (sea spray). I have waxed a couple of pots but I like matte glazes and it is really not required.

The acid copper solution is used over and over. I have been using the same solutions for five years with just filtration. If a solution gets contaminated, I recrystallize the copper sulphate, neutralize the remaining acid, and throw it out. You can use wood ash to neutralize it take it to the land fill.

Comment by Norm Stuart on June 23, 2013 at 9:54am

Do you put a clear varnish over the copper plating to keep it a bright metallic, or just let the copper oxidize naturally over time? It's quite well done.

I'm also curious what type of conductive paste you use on the patterned area to be plated, and how successfully you're able to eliminate the marks often left by the connection between the conductive paste and the charging wire.

In our outdoor studio, I'd wonder what to do with the spent acid waste bath. I realize you can filter the acid bath periodically to extend the life, but eventually it's replaced.

Comment by Robert Coyle on June 23, 2013 at 8:04am

It is a turquoise gemstone that has been epoxied to the pot and then electroformed with copper. in a plating bath

Comment by Norm Stuart on June 22, 2013 at 10:59pm

What is that "blue turquoise" in the center?

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