A really fun project to work on from start to finish. I’d been playing around with oxidizing different metals, and thought copper would be a good one to play with since it’s significantly cheaper than silver or gold. The first thing I learned was you really need to find an uncoated wire. The Artistic Wire I normally use comes with it’s standard anti-tarnish (polyurethane) coating, which just won’t oxidize. Good news for the regular pieces I make, even in a bath of liver of sulphur it stayed nice and shiny. Bad news for the experimenting I wanted to do.
I hit the hardware stores and found some 7 strand 14 gauge electrical wire. After unwinding it and straightening it, I started figuring out the aspect ratio I’d need to make my rings so I could do the very finickey Jens Pind pattern. Then winding the jump rings, and saw cutting them. These were fairly easy to saw cut, but I tried a few with my flush cut pliers, and it was just too messy and I couldn’t get a clean cut.
For this batch, I tried oxidizing a couple of times. The first time I didn’t let them sit in the liver of sulphur mix very long, since I didn’t want them very dark. Then I tumbled them for about 45 minutes, and was surprised to see how much brighter they got.
Then I got brave. After I finished the piece (with a custom made clasp to make sure it would match), I dunked the whole piece back into the liver of sulphur mix again. This time I let it get almost black, then threw it in the tumbler with some stainless steel shot and a drop of Dawn for about 20 minutes The finished result came out a little bit darker. I was also surprise to look at it the next day, it developed a bit of a bluish purple hue.
My next adventure is to find thinner wire. So far, I’ve got my hands on some 20G copper picture hanging wire. Debating on whether or not to try a simple byzantine or full persian. I’ll keep you posted with the results!