5 Wire Jewelry Tips: Mixing Metals and Creating Patinas
Here are five bonus wire jewelry tips about mixed-metal jewelry and patina from Easy Wire magazine. Enjoy them, and then order your copy of Easy Wire so you'll also be able to enjoy all 144 pages of wirework tips and more than 70 wire jewelry projects!
1. Copper will affect the chemical balance of your liver of sulfur solution. If you put silver into a solution that has already had copper dipped in it, you'll find it turns a yellowish color. Either make a separate liver of sulfur solution for your silver, or dip copper after you've finished with your silver pieces.
2. If you design a piece of jewelry that has silver and copper in it and you want to add patina, consider adding patina to the wire before you make the piece or check into Baldwin's Patina, a solution that colors copper without affecting nickel silver, sterling silver, or gold alloys. It creates a gunmetal effect, so you won't get the multidimensional effect you'd get from traditional liver of sulfur, but it's a useful product if you're combining metals that are problematic when mixed together in liver of sulfur or other patina solutions.
Sometimes a visual reminder is helpful when remembering the reverse rule of wire gauge: The higher the gauge, the thinner the wire.
3. Adding a drop of household ammonia to a liver of sulfur solution can make your results more colorful and therefore intriguing.
4. If you're designing a piece of jewelry on which you only want to add patina to a small area, Midas Liver of Sulfur XL Gel can be convenient because its gel form gives you more control than liquid.
5. Vary the direction you rub metal with an abrasive pad to remove the outer layer of patina and use circular strokes to avoid getting lines or ridges that can interfere with your jewelry designs.
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