November 1, 2009

Technique: Liver of Sulpher, and Hammering Part One


I am finally brave (read-semi-brave, baby steps!) and am trying to branch out and try new things. I have been discussing this very thing with my new friend KJ of Silver Parrot. We have been talking about trying some new metalworking techniques and each ended up purchasing some new tools online and agreed to kind of try it together. Even though we are divided by about 6000 miles it still helps to know that someone is kind of going through the same thing I am, at the same time.
She blogged the other day about creating a hammered wire chain such as the one that Gaea made in a project in Step By Step Jewelry. Read her post here. It's hilariously funny.
In keeping with the theme, I decided to try a project from Easy Wire, 2009. A project that was created by my online blog friend Cindy Wimmer- is featured on the cover.

A beautiful wire and copper washer bracelet that features a nice hammered bracelet tag that is stamped.

The first thing I conquered in this process: Oxidation.
I have been so intimidated by using Liver of Sulfur and have tried the egg process. It was kind of a disaster. So I bit the bullet and ordered some Liver of Sulfur Gel from Fundametals.net. I also ordered some polishing cloths, a new texturizing hammer, copper wire, some pre-made stamped bracelet tags, and a set of copper washers.

I pulled together all the things I needed for the project yesterday, and headed to the front porch. Rather do this sort of thing outside, because I've heard different things about the smell of the LOS. I laid everything out on the table on the porch.

Tip: Do not try to do this sort of project on the windiest day of the season. I had a hell of a time keeping things from blowing off the table during the entire process. Which, was probably pretty funny if the neighbors saw me.

I did the LOS process with cold water. I had 2 old coffee cups. To one cup of water, I added baking soda. The neutralizer. To the other, I added a little bit of the LOS gel, using a wood skewer. Plopped all the (pre-hammered) copper washers into the LOS along with the copper wire, and waited. Stirred. And pulled them out when they were all nice and black.

By golly, it worked!! Dried everything off. Now. what to do with the LOS liquid. Hmmm. The outside rain drain, down it went. Perfect.
I rinsed the washers and wire off in water and dried them completely. Then Polished the heck out of the washers creating a nice sheen. My fingers were black. But I was so pleased, because it actually worked and they actually look like the washers in the bracelet in the project in the mag!

How awesome. My confidence has been lifted and I am actually feeling like I can actually do this! Tune in tomorrow to see the finished bracelet...

11 comments:

  1. How cool! I've been putting that off, too...I have a list of things that I need to get, but, like you, I have been hesitant to try new things :o)

    Maybe once I get a few other projects complete, I will embark on this one, too...

    It looks great! Can't wait to see the finished product!

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  2. I just got a bottle of LOS, and have a few washers from the hardware store, and have been hammering washers and wire, so this was very timely for me :-)
    pam

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  3. You're on your way to having a whole bunch of fun with these!! Patina adds so much dimension especially with different hammering effects.
    Can't wait to see what you design with these.
    sandi

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  4. How cool! You are on a fun road with these experiments! I just tried out LOS not too long ago and its my new favorite thing... along with hammering! =)

    Can't wait to see your finished piece!

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  5. Oh Lorelei! You are so funny! With all that you have accomplished I can hardly believe that a little copper and LOS would not already be in your repertoire! It really is fun. I need to get some of those washers and the polish pads are the best. Fundametals was out (perhaps you ordered them all!?). You have opened up a whole new world for yourself...my best tip...is a small dip sized crock pot for lightning quick results and a constant temperature. Works like a charm. Have fun with this! Can't wait to see where your inspiration strikes next! Enjoy the day! Erin

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  6. Oh Lorelei! You are so funny! With all that you have accomplished I can hardly believe that a little copper and LOS would not already be in your repertoire! It really is fun. I need to get some of those washers and the polish pads are the best. Fundametals was out (perhaps you ordered them all!?). You have opened up a whole new world for yourself...my best tip...is a small dip sized crock pot for lightning quick results and a constant temperature. Works like a charm. Have fun with this! Can't wait to see where your inspiration strikes next! Enjoy the day! Erin

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  7. Hi Erin!

    So a small crock pot and you put a good amount of LOS in it and how long can that keep working? i can leave it in there and can you reheat it again?
    I am intrigued by this concept.

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  8. Awesome job, Lorelei! And I like how your blog entry had, y'know, like step-by-step pictures and stuff LOL! Something I sort of forgot about in my excitement at trying the "new thing." The washers look terrific!

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  9. i get my copper washers from Harbor Freight (giant online hardware store). might be cheaper there too.

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  10. Lorelei
    I am proud of you!!! You oxidized for the first time and I bet you'll want to try this with everything!!! It really gives your metal pieces character. These are great step by step pictures...I haven't even tried this gel form of LOS yet...Jeanette prefers it.

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  11. Everyone that I've heard from has been raving about the new gel form of LOS!

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