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Learning to love finishing


hello forum –

i’m having a hell of a time finishing some pieces that involve
patinas. the pieces involved either have a piece of silver with
cutouts backed by copper (which then has a turquoise patina) or
silver backed with silver (which then has an oxidized silver patina)
or occasionally gold with darkened gold. the problem is this: i
polish the piece post soldering/pickling etc and do sanding and
tumbling and all of those bells and whistles. i then use the patina
which of course dirties the top layer. i then use polishing tools on
my fordham to remove the soil from the top shiny layer, i then run
it through the polishing wheel to rouge and put on the final mirror
finish. or so goes the theory. for some reason, the patinas are
either leaving a residue on the top layer which is very difficult to
remove, or i end up removing them from the bottom layer, and on top
of all of this the firescale from the sweat soldering technique i’m
using to attach the two pieces in the first place has me about to
jump off my balcony. luckily i live in new york and hence like most
people don’t have a balcony. any guidance would be much appreciated
as i don’t mind dealing with this on a here and there basis but am
about to embark on some work which will have me contending with this
issue on a near daily basis and i simply must find a better way!
thanks in advance for all your incredible knowledge and assistance!



Hi Hilary -

You are working too hard. There is a very simple way to finish with
patinas. Try this -

Get your pieces ready for tumbling. Apply desired patina. Run mild
abrasive in vibratory tumbler - normal 3 to 5 micron finish. Voila -
patina in recesses, top layer clean. If you want a shiny finish, run
steel in rotary tumbler. You are done.

For more details, get the book - Tumble Finishing for Handmade
Jewelry. A lot of the Orchid supporters sell it. Amazon does not.

(Shameless self promotion.)

Judy Hoch