As promised, I wanted to periodically offer some tutorials for those of you who enjoy making your own jewelry but may still have questions about certain techniques. Today I wanted to show you my process for oxidizing sterling silver. In this case, I've used ear wires as our example. The above photo shows them all shiny and new. (Bo-ring!) ;)
This is the Liver of Sulfur I prefer using, a bottled gel. It is also available in lump form (like little rocks), but I find that difficult to dissolve and has a much shorter shelf life. Liver of Sulfur is described by Wikipedia as a mixture of potassium sulfide and other chemicals, and can give off a hazardous fume, so it's best to work with it in a well-ventilated area.
Working near the kitchen sink, I pour a tiny drop into a small non-pourous bowl that I don't plan to eat from again! You will also need a plastic spoon for this process, and some paper towels.
Fill the bowl with hot water, just enough to cover the items you will be oxidizing. The solution will turn bright yellow.
Next, I put it in the microwave for one minute. You need to get the solution really hot in order for it to be effective! It will darken a little after you heat it up.
When the silver has turned the colour you like, remove it from the solution and quickly run it under cold water to stop the oxidizing process. Note that the metal will be very hot, so take care when touching it with your bare hands or you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Place the items on a paper towel and pat dry. Voila! Aren't these wires much more interesting now that they look aged? ;)
And while you're here, allow me to show you some new designs I just listed on Etsy. These will make perfect Mother's Day gifts for yourself or someone you love.
Thank you for stopping by! And please feel free to let me know of any future tutorials you may like to see! x o