Plus, because of the cost, it is intimidating. There is the "Oh, no! what if I f*uck it up!!" thoughts whilst shaking in your shoes and biting your finger nails.
Yes, if you start off as a jeweler/goldsmith, you learn to work with gold - annealing, soldering, casting, milling. Yet if you come from the traditional silversmith/hollowware side of things and you don't go to a professional school, the only way to learn to work with gold is to have someone teach you or you go it alone. Which can also add another level of being scared to the process.
After my foray into fusing gold to silver on the Squash Blossom & Vine cuff, I knew it was time to get some gold and do the chasing & repousse dance with it. I knew from having spoken to a few other C&R artist that they like 22K gold and that it behaved like sterling silver even at a thinner gauge. So I not only bought some 22K at 20g sheet, I bought some 14K rose gold at 22g. I bought some solder and a bit of wire; I was going to make some ginkgo leaf earrings and the wire would allow me to make the ear wires and some jump rings to solder to the leaves and from there, hang off the ear wires.
I also contaced Metalsmith Deb to get a lesson in working with gold - soldering, annealing, etc... This workshop with a few other gold virgins is NEXT weekend. My rose gold arrived yesterday so I decided to get started on the chasing & repousse, why wait. I will admit I went cheap, $350, with the rose gold and only ordered a 1"x2" piece which I now realize is just too small to have any edge held by the pitch and I ordered it easy (annealed) hardness and now I know it wasn't. To cut a long story short, I lined, flipped and started the repousse and that metal just wouldn't move. I asked some questions in the Metalsmith's Coffeehouse on FB and got some great advice on how to anneal which I did this morning and NOW I am moving metal.
Many people have a misconception that working in gold is easier than sterling - from a hammering stand point. Trust me, 22g, 14K gold IS HARD and it feels like I am working on 18G hard sterling silver. On the plus side, I am not (as) afraid of working in gold now. I almost have the repousse on one leaf done and will move on to the second leaf later today or tomorrow night. With luck I might get the chasing done by next weekend.
The 22K 20g gold sheet is due to arrive this next week and IF I have to redo the ginkgo leave on that sheet, I will and all of this is chalked up to learning. Enjoy the pictures and more will be posted when I have more to show next week.