... My question is whether, apart from the coloration, the bleach
harms the silver or alters the strength of the solder joints in any
First thing I'd suggest it to have a look in the Orchid archives
because we had a good discussion about this a few months or so ago
and a lot of good info turned up in the course of that.
In one or two of those threads you'll see that I was, for a while, an
active proponent of bleach as an "oxidizing" agent on regular
sterling silver but ended up changing my mind for two reasons:
I found it quite difficult to get consistent results.
I ran some tests on the reported tendency of bleach to embrittle
silver and came up with enough circumstantial evidence to satisfy me
that it wasn't worth taking the risk. To make a long story short
silver pieces that had been bleach soaked and heated seemed decidedly
less malleable than I would normally expect from sterling and
noticeably more likely to stress fracture during forging and drawing.
Hardly scientific proof but enough to convince me that I should look
for other ways to patina my work.
This whole bleach and metals thing is a bit voodoo if you ask me but
in the end it just seemed like something I didn't really need to mess
with. As ever your mileage may vary.
in The City of Light