(Past Working Methods)
Seriously, I used to mount the sterling ear post on the dried art clay silver piece and fire both pieces together. However, this IS only a 50% success rate kind of approach. As the sterling silver post cannot withstand such high temperature during the firing process, it just melted during most of time when I fire them...... Now that WAS really frustrating when I had orders and needed the studs urgently. Finally I made up my mind to get a torch and whatever things that are needed such as flux, silver solder, boric acid, pickle pot and etc...
Fortunately, I found this WONDERFUL product FIRESCOFF from internet during my thorough research and bought it from Rio Grande. Well I need to clarify that I was not paid to write this review for the product as I have mentioned earlier that I'm an amateur. This product simply helps me to skip the flux, boric acid and pickling part and this means a great deal as I was quite hesitating to use those things. I have pets in my working place, so I will try all I could not to endanger their health.
Note that Firescoff is a spray on ceramic coating that gives consistent flow without using the flux and protection from firescale. That will prevent the sterling silver post from melting. Firescoff is non flammable and it's free of fluoride and chloride.
These are some of the pictures that I took when I used the firescoff. The pictures are not so clear and I tried to be real careful as I was holding the torch on one hand and the camera on the other.
If you notice that there was a drip of water on the stud base. This helped to gauge the temperature when I can apply the firescoff after it boiled off. Then I sprayed the firescoff and added a tiny bit of silver solder on it and reheated the piece again.
You will notice that the firescoff will become a white sort of cluster ceramic coat on the base.
I tipped the ear post in the firescoff... though I supposed to spray on it.... and I reheated the base again. Please remember that the white powdery ceramic coat will be burned off if the temperature is correct and the firescoff is also a flux that create flow for the solder.
SEE!! This was so much EASY than that old and non effective method that I used to do. Lastly I just washed and brushed the fired silver pieces.
YES I will continue to use this product and you can find some ways to save the firescoff by dripping it on the pieces that you want to use instead of spraying. This is really so so SOOO easy to use and the result is fast for amateur like me.