Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome to the Carnival...

Step right this way... Each month a group of jewelry makers use their blogs to get together online and answer the same question. Each in their own way. This month the topic is:

"What kind of patina tips and tricks do you use to enhance your work?"

I'm not a color lover! So just about the only time I use Liver of Sulphur is when teaching. Therefore I have very few if any tips to share about that. Tonya has a great post today with an LOS tutorial and Holly Gage has a fabulous long article on her site called Beauty and the Beastly Smell! That said - I've heard (although I have no personal experience) that you can also use Lime Sulphur from the garden store with great results if you don't have access to a jewelry supply near your home or don't want to wait for the mailman to come.

I do however love black patina's. Sometimes I laboriously paint them on in specific areas with a tiny brush and sometimes I get the whole dang thing dark and remove high spots with a Pro Polish Pad to develop an antique look. And I'm not particular about which product I use either. Whatever I can easily get my hands on - I learn to love. All of the black oxidizing liquids are basically the same. They're all hydrochloric acid in a solution that's proprietary to each manufacturer. These products go by names like Black Max, Silver Black, Black Oxidizer, Silver Oxidizer... etc.

If you get any on your clothes, you'll have holes by the third washing (ask me how I know). If you get any in a paper cut you'll run screaming to the nearest water faucet (ask me how I know). If you get any in your eyes, you'll need to do multiple eye washes and wait for the pain to go away. No - I don't know this from my own experience, but a friend on Flickr does (read the caption on the photo). She called poison control who told her that the only thing the ER would do is an eye wash with their super special medical eye wash and some ointment to ease the pain. She's totally fine now, never fear. I never risk any of these nasty occurrences because I do NOT decant the liquid to dip my pieces. I use a cheap brush from the craft store with a plastic handle to brush the patina onto the work. Afterwards I like to rinse in hot water and baking soda to neutralize the acid. In a perfect world that is. I usually just rinse really well in cold water and wash with a little soap.

There are those who think HA (hydrochloric acid) is very dangerous and should be handled only by someone in a HazMat suit. Which may be true for mass production makers and commercial jewelry companies. If your skin is verrrrry sensitive then yes. You may want to wear gloves. You ABSOLUTELY do want to wear eye protection if you dip to protect from splashes, but I'm really careful and in the 10 years I've been using it I've never had a problem. Yes, I suppose it might be cumulative - but ya know - I don't use it all day, every day. I don't patinate thousands of pieces at time. I'm a very small scale user. And perhaps a bit of a daredevil. ;D That said, a look at the MSDS never hurt anyone.

Please be sure to read the other carneys much less frightening thoughts on patinas:


Nicola said...

Still fun to read (as usual) even if you don't dig the "black stuff"
nic xxx

lora Hart said...

No, I *do* dig the black stuff. It's the colored stuff I'm just not that into.

Vickie Hallmark said...

I'm with you Lora -- deep dark black is what I crave. I always remove the rainbow stuff.

Moda di Magno said...

I love the black stuff - I've been using Cool Tools' LOS gel - and it's been a dream.

I'm a big fan of black Sharpie pens for a couple of my ring designs (I get the point exactly where I want!)

I have found that tumbling (for a long time) after any patina application will 'set it' and give it a beautiful, ethereal glow (rainbow or not.)

Congrats on your selection as a judge!!!