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Anyone else doing electroforming out there?


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#1 Bob Coyle

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:12 PM

I have been doing electroforming on ceramics for several years now and I wonder if there are any other kindred souls out there doing the same.

I have done web searches and the only hits I come up with are people doing electroformed jewelry.

attached an example...

#2 Benzine

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:35 PM

I have been doing electroforming on ceramics for several years now and I wonder if there are any other kindred souls out there doing the same.

I have done web searches and the only hits I come up with are people doing electroformed jewelry.

attached an example...


I like the look of those pieces, the one you posted and your thumbanil, but I'm still not quite sure what electroforming is, even after looking it up.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#3 trina

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:54 PM

That looks like a really cool technique, I haven't heard of it either....but then I don't get out much. Please post us a link or more info so I can see just what its about. Thanks for sharing T

#4 Bob Coyle

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 06:56 PM

That looks like a really cool technique, I haven't heard of it either....but then I don't get out much. Please post us a link or more info so I can see just what its about. Thanks for sharing T


You can find a lot of info on electroforming with google...but nothing on electroforming on ceramics.

It is an electroplating process that takes place in solution. The piece is incised and glazed. The incised portion is left raw clay. After the firing, the unglazed portion is painted with electro-conductive paint. Then the piece is put in a copper sulfate plating bath for 2-5 days. This gives time for the copper plating to become very thick. The piece is then taken out of the plating bath and burnished and a chemical patina is used to get the look of antique bronze.

I have seen the technique in old issues of Ceramics Monthly but the people who were doing it have gone on to other things.

#5 Kohaku

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:26 AM


That looks like a really cool technique, I haven't heard of it either....but then I don't get out much. Please post us a link or more info so I can see just what its about. Thanks for sharing T


You can find a lot of info on electroforming with google...but nothing on electroforming on ceramics.

It is an electroplating process that takes place in solution. The piece is incised and glazed. The incised portion is left raw clay. After the firing, the unglazed portion is painted with electro-conductive paint. Then the piece is put in a copper sulfate plating bath for 2-5 days. This gives time for the copper plating to become very thick. The piece is then taken out of the plating bath and burnished and a chemical patina is used to get the look of antique bronze.

I have seen the technique in old issues of Ceramics Monthly but the people who were doing it have gone on to other things.


Very cool.

Do you know what the durability is? I'd worry that the plated sections might have a tendency to peel back with time...
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#6 Bob Coyle

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:43 AM



That looks like a really cool technique, I haven't heard of it either....but then I don't get out much. Please post us a link or more info so I can see just what its about. Thanks for sharing T


You can find a lot of info on electroforming with google...but nothing on electroforming on ceramics.

It is an electroplating process that takes place in solution. The piece is incised and glazed. The incised portion is left raw clay. After the firing, the unglazed portion is painted with electro-conductive paint. Then the piece is put in a copper sulfate plating bath for 2-5 days. This gives time for the copper plating to become very thick. The piece is then taken out of the plating bath and burnished and a chemical patina is used to get the look of antique bronze.

I have seen the technique in old issues of Ceramics Monthly but the people who were doing it have gone on to other things.


Very cool.

Do you know what the durability is? I'd worry that the plated sections might have a tendency to peel back with time...


They do not peel back because they are plated on so thick. Also, the plating process causes some adhesion to the raw clay underneath. I have on occasion tried to remove the electroformed copper and had to pry it off with a flat blade screw driver.

#7 JLowes

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:39 AM

It is an interesting process. I added ceramics onto the electroforming and found this interesting site:

http://www.hobbies-a...troforming.html

John

#8 Bob Coyle

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:30 PM

It is an interesting process. I added ceramics onto the electroforming and found this interesting site:

http://www.hobbies-a...troforming.html

John


Yes, this is basically what I do. Looks like most of the stuff he makes is copper on glass. Since the bath I use is very acidic, I have to make sure I have a stable glaze or it gets eaten off the pot.

#9 Nancy S.

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 09:36 AM

Wow, that is really wild!!

I take it that this is an "outside of the pot" technique and not really food safe?

#10 Bob Coyle

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 10:16 AM

Wow, that is really wild!!

I take it that this is an "outside of the pot" technique and not really food safe?


The pot will end up as food safe as the glaze used. My pots are for decorative use, so I don't run into the problem. Once the pot is out of the bath and rinsed thoroughly, there is no more copper sulfate so you could use it for food but the copper would discolor and any patina would be ruined.

You have to have a pretty good glaze fit otherwise the copper sulfate solution will penetrate any crazing that occurs and will leach out later. I have one glaze that does this, but I just soak the pot in clean water a few times and it takes care of the problem.

I don't see food safety as a problem, since most people don't drink out of vases and the small amounts of copper ions that might remain are not that toxic, even if they did.

#11 tavis55

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:30 PM

Oooo I have GOT to try this! Beautiful work!



#12 Mug

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:14 PM

Thank you for your post

I imagine you know who Charles Walter Clewell is. Every since I had seen his pottery I wanted to give it a try. They claimed his technique was not repeatable and the techinque died with him....ludicrous...unless I'm missing something.

 

Looking into the process all I found was that most of the tequniques were using materials that were hazardous. Purchasing supplies would be difficult, but most of the stuff I found was from the 1950's popular science encyclopedia's. The young adults in the 50's liked to use things like asbestos, arsenic, and carbide.

 

Having no where else to go, I gave up on the idea.

 

If you could point me in the right direction, I would like to know which Ceramics monthly articals to look at.

If you are willing to share some tips, I'm sure you would have a lot of interested people.

 

Thank You

...Fred...



#13 Wyndham

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:22 PM

Bob, I  wonder what it would take to put a coating layer of silver on jewelery Would a slt water solution and a silver bar on one side and a copper plated clay pendant on the other work?

Neat stuff, I still have that CM on plating around somewhere.

Wyndham






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