Artist: Susan Zeiss
More rare than silver, Niobium is one of the 'Reactive Metals' valued by the aerospace industry because it is durable, light weight, and conductive. Jewelers love it for the color!
Susan's work is formed by using mechanical and hand forging techniques and lastly, is anodized. Both Niobium and Titanium are highly conductive, which enables this electrolytic procedure. Voltage develops a protective oxide layer, and also determines the color.
As compared to gold, silver, and other metals, working with Niobium (Nb) has restrictions. It is an expensive metal, but scrap cannot be melted down and reused. It is tough and lightweight, an advantage, but saw blades and drills dull rapidly, and all edges need careful sanding. It cannot be soldered or annealed.
It's difficult to imagine that her work begins as just a drab, grey piece of metal!