Oxidizing Silver Jewelry with Egg

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This is crafting related-ish, and I managed to relate it to crochet!

I found a package of soft silver wire that I bought more than a year ago, I think I was trying to experiment in crocheting accessories for the amigurumi, but you know what it’s like, busy, busier, and busiest happened!

So, I crocheted a granny square pendant for myself! Not bad for first attempt! I love silver, but silver doesn’t always agree with my skin. I must be super acidic or whatever chemically toxic, skin-deep. I turn silver (and white gold too!) into ugly yellowish, darkish shade. I go for oxidized pieces now, after the chemical process that the poor jewelry was put through, it usually doesn’t react so drastically towards the toxicity from my skin.

Lucky me, I have a bunch (by that, I mean a few) of buddies (that, I mean it) who are indie handcrafted jewelry artisans, so I posted the question on my Facebook timeline, and I got the best step-by-step instruction from Belinda, and expert Q&A session with Debbie (of crysallis creations).

Thrilled, I asked my mother to leave 2 eggs for me (one for my salad; one for the oxidation) before she left for vacation.

Please refer to the photos:

1. The granny square pendant – flattened by hammering with mini hammer 
Remember to wash your jewelry pieces with soap and dry it with towel; sometimes we leave fingerprints or whatever residue on it, and they are not always visible, and those will cause patches during the oxidation.

2. Hard boiled egg
I boiled it for nearly 25 mins, and no, I didn’t know the egg would be hard-boiled by 7 mins. This was what happened – 15 mins into boiling the eggs, I picked one up with kitchen towel and shook it (logically, if there was no movement and sound, it should mean it is cooked) but seriously, I couldn’t tell if anything was moving inside! Whatsapped expert Belinda (of BelLeeBeadz.com) and told her what I did to try to determine if the egg was fully cooked, and asked when should I remove the eggs. She replied with ‘OMG’. So, you know, yes, the eggs were overcooked.

3. Peel the shell and mesh the egg in a container, with a lid (don’t leave the egg to cool, the warm/heat in the egg helps speed up the oxidation process)
My egg was so overcooked, it was ‘bouncy’ and nearly ‘rubbery’. I know for sure, because the other egg was meant for my salad, remember?

4. Bury your jewelry in the meshed egg – the sulphur in the yolk is the key ingredient in aiding the oxidation process.

5. Close the lid, leave it overnight (for blackened result); or a few hours for lightly darkened result

6. Open the lid, move the items around (if some parts are not properly covered with egg); also to check on the result, if it’s dark enough, just remove them. In this photo, it’s after 6 hours.

7. When satisfied with the result, remove the pieces, and use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to brush off the eggs. Wash under running water.

8. Use the dish washing scrub to scrub on the darkened pieces to give some textures, but don’t scrub too hard, just go lightly and see how it goes. 

9. Result – gun-metal, antique looking pendant

10. Before, it was gorgeous with white silvery wraps, but the only metal that agrees with my skin is platinum.
The bird’s nests pendant is from starrydesign

11. I brushed some parts of the wire more, so that there is unique unevenness in the shades.

Ok, the question now is.. what happened to the granny square pendant? Yes, that! It turns out, the wire is silver, but coated with protecting sealant. It is still sparkling white silvery after 8 hours! Ah well, at least I know there is one kind of silver that I can wear – coated.

Just so you know, I am a crochet fibre artist, not a jewelry artisan, please try this tip on low-cost jewelry, if all goes well, you may then try on the expensive pieces. I have no answer to further questions about this, but I am sure you can find the right answer by using the search engines. ;) (yes, that is my informal disclaimer!)

It’s going to be a very busy week(s) ahead. Things should lighten up after exams in 3rd week of June though. Till then, enjoy your weekend and have a great week!

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