Ooops I sent the previous message on this thread while it was still
I would like to add some things to it. This is more complete than the
previous one. Thanks again Mike for the compliment.
46or greys and blacks on silver one can react it with sulfur
compounds to form silver sulfide. Plasticine (Plastilina) modeling
clay for example containes some sulfur compounds and it can be used to
create patterns of dark where it has been in contact with the silver
for some time. A soak in bleach will turn silver a grey
color,sometimes with a sheen to it.
Selenic acid, often sold in gun shops for gun-bluing or browning steel
will work on silver, depending upon dilution one can get rainbow
colors (interference colors-probably not too permanent or scratch
resistant) to greys and blacks. Selenic acid is also available at
photography shops as ‘selenium print toner’. Selenic acid is I
understand it being withdrawn from use because it can be very toxic. I
would check this out at an MSDS web site like:
46or greens and blues on silver one will have to approach it by
covering up the surface with something that is green or blue because
in sterling and higher there is not sufficient copper to produce these
colors by corrosion and reaction with the metal. This approach of
attacking a copper alloy to produce colors is a Western approach. In
Japan they have often approached coloring by varying the alloy and
using a similar chemical solution to produce long lasting, durable
colors, though not to my knowledge much on silver beyond greys, browns
and similar effects-I may be wrong on that.
One can in fact fume sterling in an ammonia or vinegar atmosphere and
you will get light blue stains , ususally associated with puddling or
pooling. This rather thin though except at the edges of the pools. One
can also copper plate the silver and then react with that.
The cupric nitrate patina solution described on the tips from the
Jewelers Bench page at Ganoksin.com will work on silver alloys and you
have a full range of greends, yellowish green, turquoise, black,
olives etc available. It works best on a roughenedm, clean surface so
you increase mechanical adhesion. The surface is sealed as well with a
clear auto lacquer. It does cover up the silver unless you scrape it
off, etch it preferentially down to the silver with vinegar or an acid
or use some kind of a resist during application. The patina is
absorbent so if you want to polish part of the silver next to it you
have to seal the patina first otherwise it absorbs polishing compounds
and looks dirty.
It is a covering. One can use all kinds of dyes as well on metals. Ron
Young sells a good kit.I beleive Swest sells some too. Auto paints are
intended for metals and some paints may make an excellent solution to
this problem. GM42 1980 medium green Chevrolet (which any body shops
should be able to make up for you) and 1976 Thunderbird blue both make
excellent patina substitutes which work extrmely well if rubbed into
recesses on a metl surface and then the high points wiped off with a
rag.You may find a mixture of green and silver doewsn’t work really
I recommend highly ‘Contemporary patination’ by Ron Young. He sells
tthose metal dyes as well.
Source: Ronald Young
21 Redwood Drive
San Rafael, California,
About the dyes, a student of mine had used taxidermy dyes usually used
on fish (trout?) on a number of metal surfaces, they provided great
transparency and were almost like a shiny tint to the surface. They
held very well and so far I have not heard of any damage to them with
time, though he used them all in pieces not subject to wear, wall
pieces, scultural objects etc. There was no need to wax them. I don’t
think I would put surface coverings onto metal surface subject to much
wear unless they were really durable like powder coatings or hard
chrome or black nickel platings. Powder coatings can be had
transparent and for all I know tinted as well and they are pretty good
against wear. The solid ones however look like paints in which case
paints for metal might be an option.
here’s a web site or so with patina information
Michael McCann’s Arts Safety and Hazards site (Center for Safety in
the Arts= ).
Bronze casting and metalsmithing site: lots of very good
Also a really strong metal oriented links page and lots of book
The metal finishing folks home page, lots of links concerning metal
An article on cleaning metal surfaces for coloring, on using cupric
nitrate patina which will work on silver.
Here are some other books that deal with patinas:
La Niece, Susan, and Paul Craddock, eds. Metal Plating and
Patination: Cultural, Technical and Historical Developments. Oxford::
Deutsches Kupfer-Institut. Chemische F=E4rbungen von Kupfer und
Kupferlegierungen. 4. Auflage. Berlin: Deutsches Kupfer-Institut,
Hebing, Cornelius. Vergolden und Bronzieren: Untergrund -
Arbeitstechniken - Werkstoffe: Ein Handbuch f=FCr die Praxis. 14.
Auflage. M=FCnchen: Verla= g Georg D.W. Callwey, 1985.
Hughes, Richard, and Michael Rowe. The Colouring, Bronzing and
Patination of Metals: A Manual for the Fine Metalworker and Sculptor.
London: Crafts Council, 1982.
Kramer, Oskar P. Rezepte f=FCr die Metallf=E4rbung und
Metall=FCberz=FCgeoh= ne Stromquelle. 5th ed. Saulgau/Wttbg: Eugen
G. Leuze Verlag, 1977.
Walker, John R. Modern Metal-Working: Materials, Tools and
Procedures. South Holland, IL: Goodheart-Willcox, 1973.
and, if you want to buy a copy of ‘Patinas for SMall Studios’ please
EMail me off list and I can ship you one.
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary,
Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053
Metals info download web site: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/tip_sear.htm
Product descriptions: http://www.ganoksin.com/kosana/brain/brain.htm