How to electroform an organic object (iris seed pod). Commonly referred to as "dipping" in metal, think bronze baby shoes!
Step 1: Equipment and Materials
18-amp Digital Rectifier
1000mL Pyrex Beaker
1 quart Bright Copper Electroforming Solution
22ga Copper Wire
Liver of Sulfur
Step 2: Day One
First, you need to find an object you wish to electroform. The possibilities are almost endless, from shells, fabric, wax, clay, plastic, paper, seeds and pods, etc. Be creative! For this project, I have selected an iris seed pod from my garden. I have removed the stem and leaves.
Step 3: Add a bail or Jump ring
Attach a copper jump-ring to your piece. This will serve 2 purposes - to attach to copper wire to suspend in the electroform solution, and to attach to your finished jewelry piece. Use hot glue or a 2-part epoxy.
Step 4: Lacquer the object
For porous objects, such as seed pods, they need to be lacquered to seal them. Paint or dip the object in the lacquer, making sure it is completely covered. Hang to dry in a cool, dry place, avoiding dirt and dust.
Step 5: Drying
Let them dry overnight in a cool, dry, and dust-free environment.
Step 6: Day Two
Make sure to avoid touching the lacquered surface of your object. Use gloved hands or tweezers to hold the seed pod, and paint on a thin layer of conductive paint.
Step 7: Paint and let dry
Check to make sure areas are covered with an even layer of paint, especially the area where the copper jump-ring meets the seed pod. Paint over the glue and onto the jump-ring. Hang the item to dry overnight
Step 8: Day Three
I use a 22ga sheet of copper with the top bent over so it will hang over the side of the beaker. With gloved hands, scrub it vigorously with a scotch-brite pad to remove any dirt or oils from the surface.
Step 9: Prepare the electroforming solution.
Fill the beaker with the electroforming solution, and put the anode in place. With the rectifier turned off, attach the red (positive) lead to the anode with the alligator clip.