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Liver of sulfur


#1

OFFICE MEMO liver of sulfur Date: 10/23/96

I keep a jar with a liver of sulfur mixure ready, but the liver-o-sulfur
seemed to have settled out and I could not get it to re-dissolve. So I went
to make a new batch and the liver-o-sulfur chunks had become stuck together
and seemed harder than normal. These also would not dissolve very well.

  1. Any tips of getting the stuff to dissolve better?
  2. I had heard that you could create a liver-o-sulfur concentrate by dropping
    some of the chunks into water and keeping it sealed. Then simply poor a
    little bit of that into some hot water to create a new solution. Has anyone
    worked with it this way?

Thanks

Steve McCarthy


#2

Steve McCarthy wrote:


#3
                 Subject:                              Time:  9:23 PM

OFFICE MEMO liver of sulfur Date: 10/23/96

I keep a jar with a liver of sulfur mixure ready, but the liver-o-sulfur
seemed to have settled out and I could not get it to re-dissolve. So I went
to make a new batch and the liver-o-sulfur chunks had become stuck together
and seemed harder than normal. These also would not dissolve very well.

  1. Any tips of getting the stuff to dissolve better?
  2. I had heard that you could create a liver-o-sulfur concentrate by dropping
    some of the chunks into water and keeping it sealed. Then simply poor a
    little bit of that into some hot water to create a new solution. Has anyone
    worked with it this way?

Thanks

Steve McCarthy

Steve: Liver of sulphur is potassium polysulphide, and should be kept in a well-stoppered,(not a cork) brown bottle as it absorbs water rapidly. If air gets to it overmuch the oxygen in the atmosphere oxidises it to potassium sulphate which isn’t any good for blackening silver - the sulphide produces black silver sulphide on the surface of the silver. This oxidation of the sulphide to sulphate happens much more quickly when dissolved in water - the solution should only be made up fresh when you want to use it. The dreadful smell is due to hydrogen sulphide - same as rotten eggs! The hydrogen comes from the water the solid absorbs slowly. Break up the lumps and you should have some useable stuff which was buried inside.

        /\
       / /    John Burgess
      / /      
     / /__   johnb@ts.co.nz
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#4

Say, I’ve never used liver of sulfer and wonder if its any better than Win
Ox? How do you prepare the silver surface best for the deepest most uniform
black? There’s some oxidized black pieces of work in the new Metalsmith
magazine that are really cool, any ideas there? Also, if you’re doing a
total black like some of those pieces would one seal it with some sort of
wax or whatever? Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#5

Dave Stephens wrote:

Say, I’ve never used liver of sulfer and wonder if its any better than Win
Ox? How do you prepare the silver surface best for the deepest most uniform
black? Art Jewelry for Conscious People

the only thing I have ever used in my limited experiences is liver of
sulfer and ammonia ,heat the object and quench in the liver o s.and
ammonia, repeat until you get the color you can be happy with.rinse and
highlight by finishing the piece like you would any pieece that you are
finishing. I hope this info helps.


#6

Liver of sulphur is a patina for metals such as bronze. Have never used it
on any other metals. Is applied with heat. You can buy readymade solutions
(through Rio Grande, for one) which are much more convenient, if you don’t
need a lot of it, i.e., for sculpture. This stuff smells like rotten eggs!

Susan


#7

The best blacks I have produced are created by first sandblasting the
area to be blackened, heavily copper plating it, then blackening the
copper with a prepared solution by dipping or hanging the piece in the
solution. For the blackener I use a proprietary compound that apparently
is no longer available (ebenol-C). The nice thing about ebenol-C is that
it is unaffected by ultrasonic cleaning and steaming, and lasts
indefinitely if not abraded. Many other blackeners exist and are used
for blackening the insides of telescopes et… (anything that will
blacken copper)

         Jeffrey Everett

Handmade 18K, 22K, and platinum gemstone fine jewelry.
Diamond setting, rubber/metal molds, casting, lapidary
Die and mold engraving, plastic patterns for casting.
Cad jewelry design, cad/cam milling scroll filigree…
P O Box 2057 Fairfield IA 52556 515-469-6250


#8

Here’s what I learned about liver of sulphur at a class a couple years ago.
We were working in copper. I use it on both copper and silver.

  1. It helps to break up a small portion of it into small useable pieces and
    keep it in a separate, air tight container. I use a dark blue glass vile,
    which works well. This is a safety precaution. Then if the vile of liver of
    sulphur you are working with gets air or moisture into it, you haven’t ruined
    the whole can.

  2. We were told to wash each piece with an abrasive like Comet cleanser,
    then to rinse.

  3. Instead of heating the piece, we boiled the water, although since then I
    have read that the water should not be boiling. I have also learned that you
    can add amonia to the solution for different color affects, but we did not
    use it in the class.

  4. I have been taught and learned on my own that control over the finished
    patina is impossible, and if you are a Type A personality coloring copper,
    you WILL be frustrated!!!

Steve wrote that on silver, the patina does not need to be sealed to preserve
the color. I have not found this to be true on copper. If you like the
result, you’d best lacquer it!

Candy