Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oxidizing with Hardboiled Eggs

For those who know me you all know I hate hate hate to use chemicals. Ours is the lawn with crabgrass, the 10 foot tall poison ivy (I hate the chemicals and can't touch the plant) and the one who uses baking soda and vinegar to clean the kitchen sink.

Well, as I began the metal stamping process I kept seeing people refer to oxidizing their pieces. Because I started out with cheaper blanks I just used basic acrylic paint, painted on and then rubbed off. But, as I began to use sterling silver and copper I realized I wanted a more professional look that would last longer. Enter the fear of chemicals. I kept seeing reference to Liver of Sulfur and Silver Black. Both chemicals had all these hazard warnings, and as most of my work is done in the basement I didn't have a well ventilated area to use short of working outside... and it's cold outside in the winter.

So, a bit of research and voila'! Hard boiled eggs. Boil up an egg, old eggs are fine. After 15 minutes let them cool a bit, then drop it, shell and all into a baggie... mash away, but don't use your hands, remember, that egg is HOT! Then, drop your jewelry in, or suspend the jewerly over the warm mashed eggs. If you drop it in the baggie be sure to turn the baggie frequently so all pieces are oxidized.

I've had more fun watching this process than I would have imagined. I tried some cheaper silver-toned blanks as well, but as suspected they won't tarnish. I'll have to use permanent marker or paint, as I figured.

I'm so tickled to have found a natural way to oxidize the metal. Now on to the polishing!

Before the polish...

Using Pro-polish pads found at Hobby Lobby... very reasonably priced I might add.

after the first polishing...

and the second polishing....

and now ready for beads and a necklace...
Happy Creating!

1 comment:

  1. Trying this out... How long did you leave your pieces in the bag with the eggs?