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Jewelry Design By Kila Rohner

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Antiquing Silver and Copper With Eggs

Did you know...

You can oxidize your copper and silver with Hard Boiled Eggs to give it an antiqued look?
It is the method I used originally to oxidize my copper and sterling silver for my jewelry designs.  
The effects are always a bit different and it may take a few attempts to get the color you like.  
Now I use Liver of Sulfur (LOS) which does the same thing but you get results much more quickly.

Antiquing Method that Works
You need copper or silver wire
A glass jar 
Wire Wisk
Two to three eggs

1. Prepare jar by suspending via lid (you can drop right into egg
mix, you'll just have to scrub the egg off after you've oxidized)
2. Hardboil eggs (boil additional 8 minutes after
water has begun to boil)
3. Use a wire wisk to crush *still hot* eggs (shell and all) into jar
4. Add wire and close lid tightly
5. Wait and watch. Will take hours or overnight depending
on how dark you want the metal to get.  You may have to 
boil your eggs and take a second attempt if it does not get
dark enough (I've found the older the eggs the better it works)
 And the results using egg (the bright copper will still oxidize over time naturally 
unless it is coated with a special material)
Hope you found this an interesting read if not fun!

5 comments:

Aubrey Avila said...

Pretty cool, to bad I didn't have any jewelry to make!

Bead Flora and Jewels said...

That is cool Kila! I've been telling the peeps at the bead store that my friend Kila oxidizes using eggs :D
And it makes me look smart b/c I know another method besides LOS :D

Elle said...

Looks like it would be a fun science project to do with kids, too.

kalyxcorn said...

very interesting! what do u do with the egg afterward? I bought some Jax last time I was in NY - the green patina is nice, haven't tried the black brown yet. But I like the suprises that liver of sulfur offers, esp when I have a candle nearby to help with heating the metal for a - i think - quicker reaction - & drying and such.

KilaRohner.com said...

Thank you for your comments.
I throw away the egg, clean out the jar and reuse after I'm finished. We recycle but I have to clean the jar anyway so may as well reuse. I find that the older the eggs the better, so when it's time to clean out the refrigerator and there are some questionable eggs in there I will grab some wire if I have no jewelry ready and go ahead and oxidize it.
I've yet to try Jax but very interested.