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Cleaining Copper Wire


#1

Hello,

This might not be the correct venue for my question, but I will ask
anyway - you are all extremely helpful, both technically and in the
spirit of “Go For It!”. Thank all of you for that. I’m laid up at
home, and am trying to crochet some 28 gauge copper along with some
inexpensive wooden beads into a multilayered necklace. Looks pretty
good actually. My only fear is how it will look after some time
(especially in Florida) in salt air, extreme humidity, etc. It will
tarnish. It may look better that way, or my customer may hate it
that way. How would you clean something so delicate that is also
inextricably woven with porous dyed wooden beads? I will be telling
her that she cannot ‘smoosh it’ or have someone grab it and expect
too much help, but I also refuse to sell anything that will crash
and burn.

I do have an idea, but I don’t know if it is a good one or not. I
would be perfectly willing to sell the piece at a low price (cost
really) if she would be willing to get back to me with how the piece
reacts to various elements. I’m just trying to learn. Is this a
stupid idea, or is there a better way of learning how actual
customers treat and react to your work?

Thanks for any ideas! Cindy

PS I’ll crochet just about anything before crocheting wire again!
Yarn stretches. Cynthia Carroll 3703 Foxcroft Road Jacksonville, FL
32257 (904) 260-1809 @cynthiacarroll1


#2

Cindy, I, too, am new at this, but a similar discussion came up in
class recently. A couple of options were presented:

  1. Lacquer the entire piece (including the wood) with a clear
    laquer. Understand that it will wear over time and will need
    re-spraying.

  2. Deliberately patina the piece, applying your own oxidation
    choice to it. That way, you can control what happens to it. Try out
    the patinas you are considering first on scraps of wood and wire, to
    see exactly what the results will be. Various “recipes” lead to
    various results. A great book (“The coloring and patination of
    metals” i think is the title – it’s huge with a black cover)
    contains tons of recipes and shows pictures of results. Avail. at
    Borders and in some big libraries.

Good luck!

Karen Goeller
No LImitations Designs
Mechanicsville, PA
@Karen_Goeller


#3

I’m laid up at home, and am trying to crochet some 28 gauge copper
along with some inexpensive wooden beads into a multilayered
necklace. Looks pretty good actually. My only fear is how it will
look after some time (especially in Florida) in salt air, extreme
humidity, etc. It will tarnish. It may look better that way, or my
customer may hate it that way. How would you clean something so
delicate that is also inextricably woven with porous dyed wooden
beads? I will be telling her that she cannot ‘smoosh it’ or have
someone grab it and expect too much help, but I also refuse to sell
anything that will crash and burn.

Cynthia, Why not use the coated copper wire used in electronics. I
used several colors and gauges when taking Arlene Fisch’s Textile
Techniques in Metal class SDSU in the early '80s and still have all
the many samples that I did, crocheted and knitted and coiled. They
still look good. We used the red, green, dark blue. If you use the
coated colored wire there will be no need to clean it.

I’ll crochet just about anything before crocheting wire again! You
may have to go thinner. Louise @lgillin1


#4

Cynthia, don’t know if you received my previous message - I work
exclusively with woven effects in thin gauge wires and have for
years used Tarnex or Tarn-x, a clear liquid tarnish remover that’s
readily available. Used infrequently, it should remove the tarnish
quite nicely without eroding your metal.


#5

I just can’t help but reply to this. Although, I do not have a
great deal of experience yet, I have been crocheting sterling silver
wire with Swarovsky crystals and freshwater pearls as well as some
beautiful glass seed beads. The effect is stunning! I have also
given this great thought as to how it will wear. If you are using
wood beads, I would think - No - you can’t use a dip to clean or
anything like that. The wire will probably tarnish to black. I
actually, don’t mind about the color. What worries me is how well
it will hold together. Sometimes I find that some stitches break
and this is not good, although it is reparable. I would suggest
keeping such pieces in plastic bags with that blackk paper used to
keep silver from tarnishing.

I am using 28 and 30 ga dead soft wire for my projects with good
luck, as welll as half hard. The half hard needs bigger crocheting
needles and tends to be more brittle.