Electroformed Jewelry

what is electroforming?

what is electroforming?

Electroforming is the intricate process of fusing copper or silver to other mediums such as organic materials, sea glass or pottery.

The process involves a low voltage charge passing through an acid bath during which the copper is heavily plated or fused onto the original structure. Over several hours so much metal is deposited that the initial item could basically be removed, if you could get it out.

Yup, there are REAL leaves inside of there!

real aspen leaf earrings in copper
what is involved in prepping an item for electroforming?

First, any organic items need to be dried. In the case of leaves I usually press them between the pages of a book and leave them for a week or so while they dry.

Next, you need to seal the object. This can be done in a variety of ways. One simple way is to use a spray lacquer. 

Once the item is sealed, you’ll need to attach any jump rings or wires you plan to use in your design. 

Finally, you are ready to paint! Use a conductive paint such as graphite paint. This means the paint has metal in it which will conduct an electrical charge. This is important because the object needs to be electrified for the copper to attach to it.

how to electroform jewelry
why choose electroformed jewelry?

Organic items, such as leaves or sea urchin shells, which would normally be too fragile to preserve and wear as jewelry, are locked inside a protective coating of thick copper or silver, yet still retain their original texture and design. They should still be handled with care, but they are suitable for daily use.

Would you like to see a video where I did an experiment involving a sea urchin ring and a hammer? Click here to see it on Instagram. 

 

sea urchin shell ring in silver

That means your jewelry is literally “nature-infused”! These are not castings or copies, they contain the real thing straight from nature. Next time you take a trip somewhere, why not bring home a special souvenir, such as leaves or shells and send them to me to electroform?