Friday, January 27, 2012

Oxidising Copper with an Egg!..

This week I made a bracelet with copper wire that I felt was just a bit too bright and overwhelmed the beautiful Azurite gemstone beads.

To take the edge off a little I thought rather than using liver sulphur which gives quite dramatic results and quickly, I'd go for the subtle approach and 'egg' oxidise.

I've posted about this technique before, but here's a quick recap....
Start with the piece you want to oxidise - it works best with copper and sterling silver

Hard boil an egg
While piping hot, quarter the egg (leaving on shell), and place with your item in a container with airtight lid

Put lid on and wait till egg has cooled.  If you haven't quite got the effect you want you can reheat the egg in a microwave for around 20 seconds and pop item back in again till cooled, you can repeat this as needed.
I didn't want a dark look, simply to mute the orangey bare copper and create contrast in the curves, so I left my bracelet in for only a short amount of time and used a polishing cloth on the top curves of the thicker wire.
Much better I think!

4 comments:

  1. How interesting! I never heard that one before. Another way to add patina is to soak in seawater, and use a little renaissance wax - it's the best!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Gret, certainly something fun to try :)

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