So thanks again for being a saint and sharing your great span of knowledge and experience with us all.
Your Welcome John. I don’t know 'bout “Saint” though. Just a
net junkie spending too much time on the computer and not enough
time in the studio…
By the way, John’s comment on my favorite Liver of sulpher
finish deserves a tad of clarification for those who’ve not seen
that original description.
what I do with sterling, where I wish an antiqued finish, (and
with my own work, that’s most of the time, as I prefer to control
it, and otherwise, it’s gonna do it in time on it’s own anyway.)
is to apply an overall liver of sulpher black patina (not the
commercial silver oxidizers, which sometimes work differently. I
mix my own liver of sulpher solution from the solid chemical).
Now, that initial black is dark, but dull, and sometimes a bit
blotchy. So I lightly scratch brush it with a WET brass plater’s
brush. These brushes are extremely soft brass wire, and will
leave a semi shined surface on silver, not a scratchy one. But
not a high polish either. Somewhat burnished… Anyway, what
this does with the black liver of sulpher is burnish it to a
blue/black sort of gunmetal look. No longer dull and matte, it’s
metallic again, just blue/black in color. Usually I’m using the
liver of sulpher solution on the brush as well, as I burnish, so
that it evens out any blotchyness to the color. When done, and
rinsed, the result is a very elegant piece of blue/black metal.
Shows textures and surface treatments very well, and because the
brush has compacted the otherwise somewhat loose sulphide
surface, the color is far more stable over time than an ordinary
tarnished or just oxidized surface. You can either leave it just
like this, or highlight the high spots as one would normally do
with an oxidized finish. I find it useful to highlight less than
I might normally do with just a dull oxide, as if you take too
much of the surface back to a bright silver, the blueish black
color is no longer so evident. This colored treatment may not be
right for you if you want a high contrast very black oxide, but
it’s sublte rich color is in my mind, often a much nicer look
than the more common “antiqued” look. Try it. You’ll like it.
Oh, and one other comment, one advantage to a straight liver of
sulpher color, is that if you decide you don’t want it after all,
Tarnex or similar Thiurea based tarnish removers will clean it up
quite nicely. It may take a somewhat extended soak if you’ve
put on a heavy layer, but it still works just fine. For those of
you who need that type of tarnish remover, you can also buy the
concentrated chemical from the manufactuer, at very reasonable
cost. the commercial “tarnex” product is actually a very dilute
solution, and if you mix up your own, you can make it a good deal
stronger and more effective…
If anyone is interested in that, I’ll look up the source. Don’t
have it handy right at the moment. (downstairs, and I’m feeling
a tad lazy tonight).