Sunday, July 01, 2012

Vinegar VS Liver of Sulfur

Ok, so it has been a long time since I did a write up on Copper VS Steel and I was asked, sort to do a follow up on it.  Well, instead of doing a follow up, I decided to do another comparison.  But instead of showing you all the steps using Liver of Sulfur, I am going to show you the steps I used using Vinegar and explain the differences I have found.  So, lets get started...

 banner by Tangie
First of all, I am still learning all of these techniques myself and by far am not a pro at this.  These are things I just like to learn to do on a whim...I cant seem to get enough of this stuff out of my head, I just like to play a lot.  In fact, I tell my friends that when I am ready to retire ( unfortunately I have some time before that happens), I will never be bored.  I have so much STUFF...Im glad my husband loves me...hehehe

Liver of Sulfur - I like to use the liquid type.  Its not terribly expensive, but is messy and smelly and I found you have to order it and you cant just buy it in the stores. You get instant results. You get a black finish.

Vinegar - cheap and smelly and in every grocery store. You have to wait over night or longer to get nice results. You get a nice deeper warm copper color.

Below are images of the steps I took to create these beautiful earrings...well..without the ear wires..I need to make those still.

I dont remember exactly where I learned how to use the Vinegar technique, either I read it somewhere of I was told by somebody to give it a try.  What I did was put a glass bowl inside of a rubber maid bowl.  You do not want to submerge the copper in the vinegar.  The fumes are what patinas the copper. Once I had the bowl set up, I added the vinegar, just enough to fill it up some, you dont need a ton of vinegar.  I put the copper pieces in the glass bowl, sealed it with the lid, or you can probably use saran wrap.

 I waited over night, roughly 12 hrs from the time I put it in the bowl to the time I took them out.
As you can see here, they really aged nicely.  I was not so smart and didnt take any pictures before I put them in, so unfortunately I cant show you what they looked like before, but they were just plain hammered copper rings all nice and shiny!
 Next, I took a hard sanding block, using the fine side and started to sand the rings.

Dont look at my poorly manicured thumb..I am way overdue for a manicure, like maybe 15 years...LOL
 This is a nice shot of a comparison of the rings before and after.  The one on the left is before I sanded it, and the one on the right is nicely sanded and you can see the texture of the hammering.
This is the final piece.  I am going to put a nice pretty glossy spray sealer on them and they will be ready to wear!  Well..once I get the ear wires made...Hehehe...

I hope you enjoyed this little blurp of mine and dont forget to leave any comments, good bad or other...
Thank you for stopping by and I hope to get a few more little blurps out before the end of the year...

Enjoy your summer..

UPDATE:  I just did the same treatment to some other pieces of copper and found that if you leave it in long enough, the vinegar starts to sweat leaving a small amount of liquid onto the pieces.  After checking them out a few hours later, they started turning green...I love it!  I will show you a picture soon to how the pieces turned out!