Electroforming 101

What is Electroforming?

If you’re asking me, it is part science and part magic!

Particles of copper are taken from a source or donor piece of copper, known as the anode, and deposited onto a recipient target, called a cathode.

This is done using a controlled electrical current generated by a device known as a rectifier in a highly acidic copper sulphate solution.

It is much like electroplating, although with electroFORMING,the surface is non metallic and therefore must be prepared beforehand to be electrically conductive with a copper or graphite based coating.

This is my tank:

Electroforming Setup - Tank, Solution, anodes and cathodes

Electroform Tank

It can handle 10-12 rings at a time. The entire process takes a few days and the results are somewhat unpredictable, but it is incredibly satisfying to pull a piece out of the bath!

I like using this technique for large gemstones, points and chips. The texture and organic feel of the copper really suits raw, rough crystals.

I then clean the pieces, file any rough or sharp edges, oxidize, and buff/polish.

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