Friday, November 6, 2009

A Couple of Good Eggs

Recently, I decided I was fed up with using smelly chemicals in the Lofted Designs studio. The studio is an inspirational, calming place for me and not a place for rotten egg smell. The main culprit was Liver of Sulfur, a chemical used in metalworking to create a patina – it's what I used to create a brown or black finish on silver and to turn stamped letters black.

I cannot even describe the intensity of the smell. It's an all-windows-open, burning your nostrils, make-you-feel-kinda-sick smell. So, when I heard there was a way to achieve similar patina effects using an all-natural, chemical-free technique, I decided to give it a try.

I started by boiling some eggs. I only needed a couple of eggs for this oxidation technique, but I went ahead and made some lunch while I was at it.

While the eggs were cooking, I took all of the pieces I wanted to oxidize and tied them onto a piece of string. This way they wouldn't touch one another and I could suspend them over the plastic container that would hold the eggs.

Once the eggs were ready to go, I mashed two of them in a glass bowl to release all the good sulfury stuff from the yolks.

Then, I placed the smashed eggs at the bottom of the plastic container being careful not to touch the silver with the egg. The container was sealed and the waiting began. The longer you leave the eggs in with the silver, the darker the patina. I checked on my pieces every 1/2 hour or so, and ultimately left them in for a few hours.

The results were terrific! The pieces came out just as dark as they would have with smelly Liver of Sulfur and I love knowing that I'm using an all-natural method. Sure it takes a little longer, but in the end I think it's worth it.

Custom birthstone necklaces and other oxidized pieces are available in my shop.


Sweetland Retreat said...

OH WOW!!! That's so cool!! Plus you can eat your eggs once they're done! haha--- Really, though, that's very cool. I'd rather buy something that used natural chemical-free methods so this is really good info-- THANKS!


grace said...

That's awesome! It's amazing the things you can do with natural or old fashioned methods.

The Folk Art Tree said...

I had no idea you could patina silver with good old fashioned eggs! Wow! I'm impressed! And the necklace is lovely!

Rachel Lange said...

I love that you found a good solution to this. I will think of you everytime I eat eggs.

Jessica Moreau Berry said...

Yes the liver of sulfer can be so smelly...I do use the gel kind now and it's not as bad, but BRAVO for you for trying a more natural method! And they look BEAUTIFUL!


Lauren And Andrew said...

That's cool that you sought out a natural technique -- and marketable!

Lauren And Andrew said...

That's cool that you sought out a natural technique -- and marketable!

Lisa and Willow said...

How cool is that! I have read about it but never tried it. I love the blues that came out from it. I tend to keep those on when I do a LOS patina.