Recently when I visited a gemstone shop in Stockholm I came across a find. Among all beautiful stones there was an extremely blue one, a colour similar to the sky in fair weather. I was told it is called “Bergslags-slagg” and it is not a real gemstone at all. In this specific part of the world, Bergslagen in the north of Sweden, iron production was widespread in the 1800 and 1900th centuries. Due to a specific smelting method during this period this blue slag was a by-product. In recent years it has become a much appreciated stone for jewellery making. Of course I bought the stone and I hope that I will find more stones later on.
I went home and made a silver pendant, now a favourite of mine.
First I tried to use an ancient method to fuse the small balls, granules, to the silver backing. You put pieces of iron and copper in warm pickle together with the silver items you want to fuse together. The silver will become copper coated and so far everything went well. The copper is supposed to lower the fusing temperature and make it possible to fuse the pieces together without solder. Well this didn’t work for me and I had to solder as usual. Probably I dared not reach the right temperature in fear of melting the silver.
Anyhow I love my Blue slag pendant and I use it a lot.