View Full Version : Uhh, that Liver of Sulfur stuff is wierd..

08-22-2004, 11:21 PM
I thought you all would get a kick out of this. I made my first "brangle" out of copper. A few of the beads were cheap-0 oxidized copper looking, so I thought.. "I'll try that liver of sulfur stuff..yeah."

Well, I got it real hot, put 3-4 chunks in a little bowl, put the bracelet in and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This is what I had after I rinsed. Fortunately, I had a few positive results in the lampwork and ceramic arts.

08-23-2004, 01:13 AM
Yikes!!! You know, there is a neat book out by Tim McCreight :
Color on Metal: 50 Artists Share Insights and Techniques and there are a bunch of recipes for chemical reactions to various metals and how you can get copper to turn all kinds of colors from green to blue to pink, etc etc. I'm sure there is one for black - perhaps it's your method ;)

The beads are nice tho!

08-23-2004, 01:21 AM
ooh, I do love the beads. Maybe you could sell the brangle to some goth kids. ;) (Nothing against goths, Karen, if you read this--I already told you where I hang out! :D )

08-23-2004, 04:20 AM
Hi, Lori,

I agree with Susie, there will be someone who likes just how that brangle out. goth kids, maybe others too. To me it looks like a thousand years old, digged out in some historical excavation.

Several of my lampwork pieces - trying to experiment with organic effects - did not please me the least. But when I showed tem to some friends they just made "Ooohs" and "Aaahs" and "How cool is this". Last time it was an organic bead made of Avocado and silvered avocado and some fine silver wire. I think it looks like what comes out of a dog at the rear end. But a friend of mine keeps telling me I should sell it and that it is a wonderful piece :-) I now stopped thorwing away pieces I don't like. Maybe someone else likes them - who knows.

So maybe you should just choose an appropriate name (like "medieval memory") and pretend you did it on purpose *LOL*



08-23-2004, 05:59 AM
Yummy yummy yummy bracelet! It has such an archaic feel to it.

Indeed - I do bet it would go very well with some directions of goth (No offense taken Susie :wink2: ) and even with medieval or kelt-art fans (looks a little like dug up kelt jewelry).

08-23-2004, 06:58 AM
Lori- I don't really mind the look either! - copper can be more subtly changed in the oven - i get a rich earthy red at 500* for 3 to 5 mins. Also for an antiqued/weathered look: take a tupperware container large enough for a small dish and your work. Put ammonia in the dish, wet your piece and sprinlke it with salt, put the lid on and a bluey green with form on the metal. I have a couple of wire beads with that finish on a bangle and it hasn't worn off
also - you can buy an oxidizer that is easier to use than LOS and doesn't require heat - don't know the brand name (i think my supplier repacks it so my bottle says; silver oxidizer!) but i'm sure someone will
have fun experimenting
also - the ammonia thing works with brass too

08-23-2004, 07:43 AM
When I work LoS with silver, I usually burnish off some highlights to give the patina some definition..... What if you used a brass or steel brush and gave it a couple of swipes..... then polish down with a cloth.... That might bring some other colors into it that would give even more age and character!

Having said that.... I never used LoS on copper.... but I use only a tiny chunk for my silver stuff and it works fine.... also, with silver you can watch the patina sort of "grow" if you dip it for a couple of seconds, and pull it out.... then again, and again.... so you watch the thing change colors and when it gets to the place you like it.... just rinse it off good to stop the reaction!

Good luck..... as you found out...... someone will always love it!

08-23-2004, 08:10 AM
Hehe, I like the bracelet too! Seeing it made me want to get some Liver of Sulphur and start dipping things in it to see what would happen.....now I am gonna be looking for the recommended book and I can just HEAR my poor husband now.....

"Jeanie, what IS that SMELL???"

08-23-2004, 08:29 AM
Lori- you most likely kept the brangle in the solution too long. But as Lois said, take a buffer, wire brush, cloth, to rub off some of the patina to give depth and highlights. it's best to watch these things when you place them int he solution. I really like the organic glass beads and the ceramic beads too! You are really moving on up!

nothing from me today. I put my last spiral in yesterdays show and tell.


08-23-2004, 02:12 PM
Yikes! It's a bit dark for my taste! LOL! I usually put one very small piece of LOS into the hot water--I just want it lightly yellow and then dip, rinse, dip, rinse until I get the color I am looking for. I don't let it stay in for long. When you have the color you want, rinse in water again and then give a good rinse in water with baking soda in it. That will stop the action. It is also good to put baking soda into the solution bfore you dispose of it as it will render it harmless.
If you have a tumbler, maybe you could tumble some of it off. I also like the idea of burnishing some of it off as well. Use incredibly fine sandpaper--the 3000 grit, I thnk it is. You might get some pretty interesting things underneath the darkness.
Great bangle, though! I love the lampwork!~

Deb :wave:

08-23-2004, 09:06 PM
Gee.. thanks for convincing me not to give up on my brangle, guys! I had written it off. Yeah, it dose have a 'dug up' appeal! You guys can find the positive in anything. :p You know, I bet it will be my very first sale. I can see it coming. Good golly. :rolleyes:

08-24-2004, 03:04 PM
Tumbling will not take off the dark patina, but it will sort of burnish it to a wonderful gunmetal gleam ... I do this on purpose with my work, then use tripoli or zam on a muslin buff wheel to take off some of the highlights just for contrast. Then I finish with a little wax that you get in a car store so it wont tarnish further. One caveat , though you do have to tell the people who will be wearing your bracelet that copper does wierd things with some folks skin if it worn for longer than a couple of hours. Some folks dont mind, and the "green" ( yes GREEN) does wash off the skin... BUT you may have some who will react less than favorably. There are all kinds, and in fact I find many customers seek out bracelets which use copper because of its reputed effect on arthritis and health. I am still in gearing up mode here someday I will post pics, but I have always been a big fan of copper.

kate mckinnon
08-24-2004, 09:25 PM
I like to use a dilute solution of liver of sulphur cold, or lukewarm, because the reaction happens more slowly. you can have more control over the patina. I agree that there is probably a lot you can do with that piece, start burnishing and buffing, and even wire brushing and sanding, and I'll bet it will be really excellent.