Electroforming With Lilguy Designs

Electroforming With Lilguy Designs

You know the old saying that variety is the spice of life? I love trying new techniques and increasing my knowledge and skill base. I recently started learning about a process called electroforming.

What is electroforming?

Electroforming is a metal forming process through electroplating. Whilst it is a process used in industry to form parts, it can also be used decoratively. Which is obviously my interest in it, loving all things decorative!

How does it work?

A non-conductive item is taken and coated with a conductive paint and then placed in an electrolyte bath with copper annodes. When the electric current is switched on it causes the copper particles from the annodes to transfer through the electrolyte to the painted item.

For example, an oak leaf (which is non-conductive) I picked up whilst walking the dogs one day. I pressed it to dry it for a few months, then painted it with the conductive paint. After around 5 hours in the electrolyte bath it came out bright and shiny and extremely strong. You can see the fine detail of the leaf has been kept and highlighted during the process. Once it had been sprayed with a clear varnish to prevent it from tarnishing I then attached a silver bail and have hung it on a black suede cord adjustable necklace.

Jewellery and other items

Other items I have electroformed so far include sea shells to turn into pendants.

Holly leaves, ivy leaves, pine cones and star anise are also being used in preparation for making Christmas wreaths and table decorations. Sorry for mentioning Christmas in June, but these things take a lot of preparation! Other leaves being used are camellia, oak and bracken, all collected from around the land around Lilguy HQ. As you can see, it’s not a quick process by any stretch of the imagination. It also takes a fair amount of practise, and quite a few items ended up in the bin during the initial process!

If you would like to see some of these items Lilguy will be at then Jovial July Craft Fair at Brighton Unitarian Church on Saturday July 8th and will also have my usual silver jewellery and gifts available to buy. Check out the event via Wild Strawberry Events Facebook page.