July 03, 2022

Recycle Recycle Recycle

By Laura Jane Bouton
pour sterling silver into ingots

When creating jewelry  it is inevitable that there will be scrap left over from your project. Little pieces, snippets and even sterling silver dust accumulate over time. At first I was very intimidated with the whole process of melting down my silver scrap and pouring it into an ingot. Silver prices have increased a great deal since I started making jewelry 12 years ago and this was a great incentive to get over my fear. Recycling your silver scrap can help you save money and reduce your impact on the planet. Now I find melting silver quite magical and very empowering, I hope you can give it a try in your studio!

What your need:



Torch ( I have an acetylene torch and use my big tip for melting silver)

Sterling silver scrap

Ingot molds for rolling our sheet or wire (you can also carve out wells in a charcoal block)

Rolling mill (is a must for rolling out your ingots)

Above is a list of what you need. Most are inexpensive tools, but the rolling mill has a big price tag. It is obviously essential to rolling out your ingots, so if you do have one I highly recommend going down the recycling path. All tools and supplies can be found at most jewelry supply companies like Riogrande.com. In the video, I am pouring an ingot to then roll out into silver sheet. There are also wire ingot molds, but you would need a rolling mill that can roll out wire also. My rolling mill has the ability to roll out  sheet and 1/2 round wire. I am saving up for another rolling mill that has all the wire rolling options, this would give me more recycling options.  I hope you enjoy my video on pouring ingots, if you have any question just let me know if the comments below.

Looking for more metalsmithing tutorials? You can find them HERE


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