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Jeff Pringle

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About Jeff Pringle

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    Oakland, CA
  1. The gold is done via mercury gilding on these, I believe - they are from Japan, not my workshop. On these, it's the expressiveness of the chiseling that gets my attention, it's like poetry. Here's a close-up:
  2. The traditional metalwork of Japan is inspiring in so many ways...
  3. Interesting! The ore did seem pretty clean, I bet if the purity is high it is more from the ore than from over-refining. The refining is definitely not simple or easy, at least it is not easy to tell if you are doing the right steps to the correct amount while you are doing it. I’m trying a couple different methods with the second batch, I’ll let you know if anything becomes clear. Now if only I had access to XRF or some other alloy measurement system, we’d know just how pure the stuff really is.
  4. Somehow, this photographer manages to capture waves in the same way the old wood block printers & painters of Japan depicted them, something I would not have thought possible before seeing the photographs. Awesome. (zen smilie) “Nami” by Shoin Kajii Publisher: Little More,Japan (2004) ISBN: 4898151337 http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/imgdata/large/4898151337.jpg
  5. I did this stress-tester to make sure my raised-metal inlay technique is resulting in inlays that don't fall out, the base is carved iron. Since it's only reason for being is a check for adhesion, it is more of a metallic doodle than a carving, my iris obviously suffers from me not even bothering to look at a photo of an iris before doing the inlay - I will have to call it a Dr. Seuss plant.
  6. I ran 3 kilos of ore through the initial smelt process yesterday, and tried to high-grade the ore as much as possible visually (since I don’t know much about concentrating copper ore via the various other methods). I also lowered the temperature of the smelt, to lessen the amount of iron reduced. Ended up with 280 grams of copper/iron alloy, of which hopefully 50 – 60% will be the final yield. Now if only I could remember which mine those rocks came from, I would grab some more ore, since that finishes off the pile of desert souvenirs I started with. An un-roasted bit next to a roasted bit, the rust spots are post-collection contamination and not something to look for when you are out collecting rocks. The ore is disseminated through the host rock as veins & pockets with quartz.
  7. Yes, I just grabbed the easy chemical to see if it reacted differently than commercial copper. I would have to do a bit of digging to unlimber my rokusho set-up, so I might take Patrick up on his offer (PM me your address, Patrick ). Hard to say, as I didn’t weigh any starting ingredients with a real scale. I only cooked about a third of the ore, though, so now that I know it works, I’ll weigh everything before and after when I reduce the rest of the rock. It cannot be nearly as efficient as with the magnetite iron ore 60 - 70% returns I’m used to, maybe 100 grams of workable material from 1.5-2 kilos of ore. I’ll take a photo of the ore before and after roasting, too, so you can see what I’m working with. Roughly 2”x ¾” x 1/16”, 16 grams, not the whole production of the initial run.
  8. The home-made copper in its raw state is almost exactly the color of regular copper, perhaps a slight silver tinge – this photo is not ideal, I don't know where my white balance got to. A short dip into weak Liver of Sulfur indicates it will patina faster and darker than the commercial stuff. The home-made copper is sitting on top of a square of commercial copper sheet in the photos. Both samples were finished to 1500 grit with sandpaper, etched for ~20 seconds in weak Ferric chloride, then dipped into weak L. of S. and rinsed, twice.
  9. Yes, it is unusual, and something about the scale of the design seems off, too. Even in work where the maker was trying to be 'rustic' or 'antique' I've never seen cherry blossoms rendered in this way, and beginner apprentices don't get to execute final designs in the Japanese system...
  10. Yep, but it might be a cheese cloth or burlap variation, "o-numone zogan"? how does one say burlap in japanese? I've heard of roughening the ground and mercury-gilding over it, which would be another way to get something to look like this...
  11. Is this the remains of numone zogan, or some other technique? (another old tsuba)
  12. Also available at swimming pool supply places as an algaecide
  13. No problem, nothing to apologise for - guess I didn't use enough smileys in that post I hope I'm not coming across as a wanna-be expert or anything, I'm just trying to understand some of these traditional materials, and their context in both the crafty world and the analytical world....that's why I put so many conditionals in my posts, I don't know what is true or real yet. Exactly, learn your materials and use them to the best of your abilities. The wide variation in composition points towards something like using what is available, like the local food movement going on now. EDIT: Okay, it used to mean using what was available, now it means going to great lengths to AVIOD the homogenous piles of stuff that surround us
  14. Sounds resonable to me. And yes, please post the copper data Native copper is 99% + pure, from what I've found on the web recently. More pure than one average analysis of yamagane, posted on this thread recently. Any other analyses out there? Seems to be little published info. I suggested the As may have been introduced just because it was ALOT higher than the content in a bunch of smelted copper objects from around the world that I have looked at over the last week, but I didn't mean to imply that it was likely - probably just a complex ore.
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