I love the look of oxidized silver and patinas in general, but I
hate how easily they come off. I have found gunmetal plating to come
off even more easily. Does anyone have any tips for "sealing"
oxidation so it lasts longer or doesn't come off as easily on the
wearer's skin? I would go to powder coatingor enamel, but I prefer a
less solid look.
I don't know if this would work, but I use Burt's Bees Lip Balm to
keep my tools from rusting. I apply it with my finger and buff it
with a cotton towel, leaving a very hard finish. It's non-toxic of
course, and I recommend it to my customers who own sterling knives
with carbon steel blades to protect against rust. Give it try by
wearing one of your bracelets for a while and see if it holds up.
Just keep in mind that it isn't a durable as lacquer.
I learned this trick from Jack and Lizzie of Zaffiro.
Run your oxidized work in a rotary or pin tumbler with stainless
shot and a little soap.
It seems to hammer or burnish the finish into the surface of the
metal thus leaving a more durable surface.
This is not a scientifically proved theory. Just casual observation.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry
I like the patinated look as well. But I know that the patina will
come naturally and plan for it when I design a piece. Unless you are
looking at colors and chemical staining on the silver I would leave
it alone and let the wearers unique chemistry and environment do the
work for you.
I do mostly craft pieces and I polish to a very high shine. Once
tarnish and time and hand polishing has their way with the metal it
is always a better look than I could have applied or even imagined.