Kitchen Patinas By Jen VanBenschoten

By on August 30, 2017
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Wire Jewelry Article for August 30th, 2017

Kitchenpantinas

Have you ever wanted to add a lovely patina to your wire jewelry or oxidize your copper and sterling silver without using chemicals? In my little circle of friends, we’re learning how to color fiber and cloth using plants and vegetables. So it only made sense that I wanted to play with natural methods for adding color to my wire jewelry. All you need is some hard boiled eggs, salt and vinegar potato chips, a little bit of water, and a little bit of white vinegar.

Materials:

  • 2 or 3 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 bag salt and vinegar potato chips
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Krylon or other sealant
  • Sterling silver, copper, or brass wire jewelry

Method 1: Hardboiled Egg Oxidizing

You would think that because we have 2 dozen laying hens at my house that I would be okay with using their eggs for this method. But it was really hard for me to justify using those lovely eggs for this! You can’t eat the hardboiled eggs when you’re done with them, so they’ll either have to go into the compost or back to the chickens to eat.

  1. Place 3 hardboiled eggs into a large plastic bag, and seal the bag, leaving some air in the bag.
  2. Mash the eggs with a spoon, shells and all.
  3. Place the jewelry to be oxidized into a container like a paper cup or other non-reactive container and place the container in the bag.
  4. Seal the bag again and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
  5. When the jewelry has achieved the desired shade of oxidation, remove it from the bag and wipe it with a clean cloth.egg1 egg2egg3

Method 2: Potato Chip Patina

This one is so much fun, and not just because I love salt and vinegar chips. If you want to sneak a few chips from the bag before you mash them for the patina, I won’t judge you. Just don’t eat the chips after you’ve used them to color your copper and brass wire jewelry.

  1. Put about half a cup of crushed chips into the bottom of a non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic, not metal!), or fill the bowl and then mash it with a spoon to get about a half cup of crushed chips.
  2. Place the clean wire jewelry on top of the chips.
  3. Cover with another ½ – 1 cup of crushed chips.
  4. Pour about a tablespoon of white vinegar over the top of the chips, and then sprinkle with water to get it nice and wet so that the chips stick to the metal.
  5. Place the bowl in a plastic bag and seal the bag.
  6. Let the jewelry “stew” in the chips. Check it starting in 30 minutes to see how the patina develops.
  7. Once you’re happy with the colors you’ve achieved, remove the jewelry and throw the chips away. Let the jewelry dry completely before sealing with Krylon or other spray-on sealant.

Potato Chip 1

Potato Chip 2

Potato Chip 3

Happy Wrapping!

 

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