Essentially this involves repeated heating of the sterling silver to force a layer of fine (100% pure) silver to accumulate on the surface. This process of heating is called “annealing”. Once the pure silver layer is present, the torch flame is targeted on specific areas of the surface, causing the fine silver to melt and run – removing the flame abruptly causes the surface to crumple and fold into random patterns. As such, the effect can never be repeated exactly, making each piece truly unique.
This technique relies for its success on the difference between melting points and cooling rates within the piece of metal – when one area contracts more than another, the rippling effect occurs.
The process is best performed on sheet metal which is at least 1mm thick. Silver, gold or brass can be used and the technique may be carried out before or after cutting and shaping of the final design.