fusing with semi-precious stones?
would appreciate input on fusing with semi-precious stones. Have any of used fused them successfully? Any info would be of help.
Do they have to be specifically indicated as "fusible"?
* I've tried several, (Opal, Tourmaline, Garnet, Amethyst). Don't work. Brock
* Brock, have you tried sapphires? We have a lot here. The're mined very close to us.
* Not yet. Send me a bunch, I'll happily post the results. Cecil
* Brock, will get ahold of some and we'll both try.
* This might be of interest.
* A year or so ago I made a febble attempt at fusing sapphires with a cracking result. I used green ones and they struck to a murcky hazel colour. I only did this in my old enamel kiln with no temp control... quick and nasty. Perhaps a slow and low temp soak would produce a better outcome. And don't use green as I later found that when they alter the colour of sapphires using heat the green ones are nothing but trouble!
* I haven't tried this myself but saw another student's work at a workshop and she had successfully fused a CZ into glass with no breakage. They come in various colors. Linda
* Cubic Zirconia is one of the few stones that you can fuse/use..... check some jewelry boards or books for stones that are cast-able directly into silver settings. These will also hold up to glass fusing temps.... this is presuming they are small enough not to cause compatability issues with the glass. You might also try to glean something out of the archives here, as we've discussed this before, but I don't recall any of the good tips.
* If you check with Rio Grande they have a list of stones that have survived firing with PMC. This is probably a good place to start the list is quite extensive. I have it somewhere but have moved and we are temporarily living in a barn so I haven't found everything yet. Studio is built but not the house! PMC fires as high as 1650 and as low as 1110 so it will be somewhat comparible for glass. Let me know if you can't get a hold of it.
* thanks for all the input on this subject. I'm supposed to be getting an asst. of different(small) stones in the next few days. Will report back on the success or failure when they're fused. I won't be using any PMC with this batch.
* Aw. a question I can almost answer, as a jeweler.
Many stones are very heat sensitive, opal being one. Some have been "heat treated" to change their color. Heating them again will not be good. I don't work a lot with stones so can't give you a list of which are extreme heat tolerant or not. But most are not going to take the heat generated in fusing. The suggestion of looking at the Rio catalog is a good one. And then there are some that can take the heat but if they are flawed the heat will crack them. Proceed with stones you don't mind losing.
And one little pc note. We jewelers are now being told that all stones are "precious" and there is no such thing as "semi-precious" stones. It's like being "sorta pregnant."
Hope this is helpful.
* Do you suppose it's because the man-made stones are getting so good that those will become "semi-precious" and all things natural will be elevated to total precious-ness? I'm trying to think up a cloning analogy along the lines of your pregnancy comment.... but, too mentally slow today. It's that Mercury retrograde.....
* Re: semi-precious being really precious stones...... The best I can tell its a reaction to the fact that someone decided only diamonds, rubys, emeralds, sapphires etc were "precious." In reality there are some agates, turquoise, opals, jaspers, etc that are as rare or rarer then the above. And with more jewelers turning their backs on the original "precious" stones to work with the more interesting & beautiful (in my opinion) old "semi-precious" stones, they decided to call em all precious, as they are, to help educate the public.
Diamonds are expensive largely because DeBeers et al controls the market. But I work with stones much harder to find/acquire, but much cheaper to get and of course can't get the money for them that they are worth on the "which stone is rarer" money scale. Its the added value of a huge marketing plan. Agates & jaspers just don't have the PR firm that diamonds do.
* Give me a Boulder opal any day!