www.LindaSinish.com

www.LindaSinish.com
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Patina Removal Experiment

One of my more time consuming processes, in the studio, is removing the excess liver of sulphur.  It's a job I don 't look forward to.  It seems to really take a lot of time out of my day, time that could be used for something more productive or fun.  So I did a little experiment to see if I could come up with a similar result in less time.  I think I've been successful!  If you should decide to try this technique you might want to do a test, just to make sure you like the final outcome.  It's a real bummer to put lots of time and effort into a piece and then destroy it with an experiment.

Left to right:  1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend 
Left to right: 1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend

I'm including several pictures of the same shot, because I'm not a photographer.  It is my hope that several pictures with slightly different lighting and background paper will be helpful in relaying the results.

I normally remove the excess liver of sulphur in one of two ways.  First with the use of 0000 steel wool.  It takes a lot of time, especially when there are dozens of pairs of earrings on the work table.  The second is with a polishing disk on my Dremel.  This technique really gives a shine to the high points, but leaves too much in the tight spaces that the disk can't reach.  So, my quest for an alternative.....

I searched Google for suggestions and just wasn't satisfied.  Then  I remembered a technique I read in 'Making Wire Jewelry' by Helen Clegg and Mary Larom, Lark Books Publishing.  They mention using a non-chlorine abrasive cleanser.  I believe their picture shows Bon Ami.  With no Bon Ami in the house,I reached for my can of Bar Keepers Friend.

Left to right: 1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend

I did 3 batches of the same jewelry item, using a different technique for each batch.
  • First Batch:  Dry steel wool was used (the item on the far left in each picture).
  • Second Batch: A wet tooth brush with Bar Keepers Friend was used (the item in the center of each picture).
  • Third Batch:  A wet cosmetic cloth with Bar Keepers Friend was used (the item on the far right in each picture).

Left to right: 1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend

I was the least impressed with the second batch, where I used a wet toothbrush with Bar Keepers Friend.  I think the finish looks dull and too much of the liver of sulphur was removed.  I believe the toothbrush was too harsh and had an effect on the copper.  I also think the brissels reached into the nooks and crannies and removed too much of the liver of sulphur. I really like to have a bit of the darkness remaining in the nooks and crannies.  I like the contrast.

Left to right: 1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend

The third batch was very quick and easy and the finishing result looks very similar to using the steel wood.

Left to right: 1) Dry steel wool, 2) wet tooth brush and Bar Keepers Friend, 3) wet cosmetic cloth and Bar Keepers Friend

The winner is............ the third batch, using the wet cosmetic cloth with Bar Keepers Friend.  A similar visual look to the traditional steel wool method and a whole lot quicker!

Thank you for letting me share and thank you for visiting.  Have a joy filled and creative day!

Linda
www.lindasinish.com

2 comments:

  1. Great tip, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like Kate says, this is a great tip and inexpensive, too. I like using pro polishing pads but they are very expensive. In my search for a cheaper solution, I found a free video on Beaducation showing how to use silicon discs for polishing. The discs are very cheap and work great. A final once over with the pro polishing pad and done. And they don't scratch like steel wool (even 0000).

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your kind words. I'll answer any of your questions very soon. Linda