Monday, August 31, 2009

Patina and Electroforming Experiments on Silver

More experiments with electroforming onto silver were less successful than hoped; the copper isn't beyond popping off when subjected to heavy work, like forming flat pieces into hoops. Guess I'll have to go back to electroforming after forming.

After removing all the copper I so carefully put on, I decided to experiment with Japanese patinas. Chemist that I am, I got out the mortar and pestle to grind up ferric chloride, weighed it carefully, added a bit of salt and water. I immersed the silver in the solution for several days, finally achieving a muddy brown color that wasn't even particularly resistant to a brush under running water. So much for the dark purple advertised.

I suspect that the recipe was intended for sterling, where the copper content would react differently with the patina. Either that, or the "purple" was as intended.

So the hoops got buffed back to silver. I've got a date in the lab with a new recipe.