Silver Electroforming

Silver Electroforming

BJS Gold reintroduced silver electroforming to silversmiths and artists back in 1965.

The technique is to deposit silver into moulds or on to waxes or resins. The silver can be removed from moulds and the wax can be melted out leaving hollow net shapes, whilst resins always remain inside, acting as support for the silver.

The process starts with metalising the mould, wax or resin by reducing silver chemically on to the surface to make it conductive. Silver nitrate is dissolved in pure water and then sprayed simultaneously with a reducing agent. Where the two jet sprays meet, the nitrate washes away leaving highly conductive, pure silver on the surface of the mould, wax or resin.

Electrical contacts are added, the piece submerged in a highly modified electroplating solution and a computer controlled electrical current is passed through the solution. The silver accurately and consistently builds up on the piece until the desired thickness or weight is achieved.

The deposit can be mirror polished and is the perfect substrate for hard gold plating.