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Shakudo & Shibuichi


Johnson

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Guest Clive

Hello Johnson..

 

There is a new forum dedicated to Fine Art Metalworking with particular emphasis on the Japanese tradition just launched..

 

Here a link:

 

http://followingtheironbrush.org

 

I'm sure Ford who runs the site will be able to give you the definitive answer.. he is the

 

world's leading non Japanese authority on Japanese metalworking.

 

Regards

Clive

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If you've made sterling on your own, then I don't know of anything that'd keep you from making shakudo or shibuichi. Shakudo is usually about 3% gold, and 97% copper, but I've heard of alloys with more gold, up to about 7%. Shibuichi is between 10% and 25% silver, with the rest being copper. I haven't made any, but we had a lesson on Japanese patinas when I was at school training as a goldsmith, and the patina did come out slightly different on each of the shibuichi samples we had, because of the differing silver content.

 

As Clive suggested, check out Ford Hallam's forum for info specific to Japanese metalworking, and also take a look at Jim Kelso's work. I only dabbled a little with Japanese alloys at school, and that was a few years ago.

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I tried the Search option and though I did find topics on the suject, I couldn't find any that gives me the exact process.

 

The reason I asked was because even though I could make sterling silver, I couldn't melt copper by itself as it absorbs oxygen and turns into an unusable lump. I am worried that I could not make shakudo/shibuichi without some kind of flux to stop the copper from oxidizing.

 

Could the little amount of pure gold help?

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Hi Johnson,

 

This thread does not directly answer your questions, it does have technical discussion about the materials.Thread begins here, mentions oxygen here, and here.

 

I recall discussion about melting metals and being sure that the top of the ore is covered with charcoal, but that might be in regards to iron bearing mixes. Wish I could remember it all so that I could help you.

 

Janel

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Hi Johnson,

 

This thread does not directly answer your questions, it does have technical discussion about the materials.Thread begins here, mentions oxygen here, and here.

 

I recall discussion about melting metals and being sure that the top of the ore is covered with charcoal, but that might be in regards to iron bearing mixes. Wish I could remember it all so that I could help you.

 

Janel

 

 

Charcoal does help in the process, though I am not too sure about the pouring. I guess I need to do more research before I waste my metals for nothing.

 

Thanks for your help, guys. If I found a method, I'll post my findings here.

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Too many people tend to over think when trying to make japanese alloys. There is nothing mysterous about the process. Common casting flux works as well as anything ,an electromelt works much better than a gas torch.But if you can make sterling from silver and copper there should be no real problems with the silver alloys.

 

Shakudo does present problems since it is mostly a copper alloy and copper will absorb oxygen.But a reducing gas mixture,good flux and charcoal solves most problems. Experience helps also,unless you are the type of person which gets everything right the first time you try something.

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