Thursday, February 12, 2009

so little time...

Only a couple of hours in the studio this week. I've been cleaning up and shooting my fold form line that I used to make years ago but I can't do that much hammering any more so I'm selling the remainder on Etsy. I have a portion of the line that I decorated with kumboo, a Korean overlay technique on silver with 24k gold. I love the technique but I've never been all that happy with the result on these pieces. The silver is so shiny and textured you can hardly see the gold. So I finally took a chance and patina'd the silver with liver of sulphur. The nice thing about liver of sulphur is it doesn't touch gold so the silver went black and the gold just popped out. Then I threw the pieces back in the tumbler. I love to tumble liver of sulphur pieces b/c when they come out they've got this amazing shiny gunmetal black surface and the patina is burnished and sealed in really well. I still have to take a pic of the fold form pieces but I did do this with the little pendant I photographed below so here are the before and after pics.
The pieces came out great in my opinion. They are shiny grey, the hammer texture comes out and the gold looks great. I think it will take a more adventurous jewelry person to wear black metal but the end result is quite striking and very different from the gold- free versions so I'm happy.
FYI- whenever you patina your silver make sure you don't have any tarnish on the surface. The patina really only wants to stick to clean metal. I missed cleaning a handfull of the old pieces but patina'd them anyway and after tumbling it was evident that the surface coloration was not uniform. The areas where there was some tarnish underneath was mottled. So I'm going to have to clean those pieces, re-patina and re-tumble.

First pic- before tumbling- stone is just laying in the setting- it's not going to be tumbled
Second pic- Tumbled and stone is set

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