Note to self: NEVER AGAIN put your Argentium wire away, next to your fine silver wire!! Jeeze what an expensive and frustrating mistake.
After two productive days of making toggle clasps, I had visions of spending some very happy time at my stringing bench. (Where I always keep my Argentium wire…I thought. Its on the other side of the room from my metal clay bench.) I opened the kiln and was shocked to realized that what I thought was fine silver wire had turned black and weak during the 2 hour firing. All of these bits broke off easily from their pieces. There was no resurrecting this mistake.
AArgh! All my own fault too. When I looked at the coils of fine silver wire that I keep by my metal clay bench, I discovered a misplaced coil of Argentium silver in with the fine silver. I had not bothered to read the tag, other than to look at the gauge I wanted. From now on I will never assume that all of the coils of my fine silver wire are not partying with their silent sterling sisters while I am away. I was sure I had kept them separate….but I should have double checked.
All was not lost, since the 16 gauge wire I used was most definitely fine silver.
But boy, do I hate learning lessons the hard way!