Wednesday, May 21, 2008

liver of sulfur— NOT

I just finished a choker of stretch maille box chain, to which I attempted to add a Goth feel with a V-shaped pendant "lace" of black chains, terminated with amethysts in hematite rings.

My first accomplishment was in successfully making balled sterling headpins, which was gratifyingly free of major difficulties. Then I wanted to oxidize said pins (once they were assembled into the captive-amethysts-with-wrapped-loops) so that they would not stand out all bright and shiny against the black anodized aluminum.

I knew egg yolk usually produces just a thin golden layer of oxidation on silver, or that's how it's worked for me in the past. So I thought I'd give it extra time and warmth, and put the headpinned assemblies and the yolk in a covered pyrex dish in a 200° oven for an hour. Hmm, still just light silvery-gold.

So after a bit I decided to be more emphatic in the heat treatment, and put it back at around 450°, for maybe 45 minutes, maybe more. I had the kitchen exhaust fan on to keep the house from getting too hot.

Well, I must have stunk up the neighborhood, though I didn't smell it in the house. The egg yolk turned into a NASTY stinky black-brown oily, oozy lump, with condensed droplets of the stuff all over the inside of the dish and lid. I had to wash my silver-and-stone assemblies and tumble them a while to get the oily gunk off them. But they are a PERFECT black!

Here they are in the finished necklace. It is currently for sale in my Etsy shop here. I have matching earrings almost made, save that I want to make handmade silver wires for them too. And sacrifice another egg yolk? Maybe.

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