Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Put a *shine* on that gorgeous wire work


If you make and sell sterling silver wire jewelry, especially online, sooner or later you'll
face the problem of having your beautiful jewelry oxidize in all the wrong places. It's bad enough at a show, where it just doesn't sparkle like it should, but in pictures it's awful. There is no way to correct it. It's fairly easy to attend to the problem when it's plain sterling silver, just throw it in a tumbler with some stainless steel shot, water and a little Dawn and let it ride for a while, but if there are fragile gemstones that's not an option.

I have been stocking my ArtFire artisan jewelry studio, JewelryOnTheRocks, and some of my most beautiful pieces were taking on that ugly brown color. Not enough so that it looked like it was supposed to be that way, just enough to make them look drab. It had me stymied so that I couldn't move forward, my pieces just looked terrible in pictures.

Not too long ago I stumbled across a tip that just blew me away. It was one of those happy discoveries that make you feel as if your load has lighted so much. I was wearing a ring that had that light oxidization and had such beautiful delicate wire work that it wasn't possible to use a jeweler's cloth on it and got some smelly chemicals on my hands that soap and water wasn't taking off so I grabbed my husband's cream formula Fast Orange. I knew that it would take care of the smell, nothing is as good as orange oil for taking out bad smells. As I rinsed my hands I was watching that ring because I needed to make sure I didn't leave the residue in it and couldn't believe my eyes. As the cream washed away the ring positively glittered!

I next tried the piece in this picture as a test. I applied the Fast Orange to the right half and left the left half untreated. I think the results speak for themselves! If you have this issue, try this tip and come back to let us know your thoughts.

One important disclaimer: Fast Orange is a weak acid. If you use it on pearls, calcium based stones like calcite and epidote or stones that may be treated with wax such as turquoise and chrysocholla, keep the time limit very short to avoid pitting pearls/calcium based stones or melting the wax on those lovely soft stones.

Visit me on ArtFire to see more of my work at JewelryOnTheRocks. I also have a studio for my beautifully classic handmade findings and small lots of highly unusual beads, visit me at glittercritter's!

14 comments:

  1. I like the idea of using fast orange to put shine on sterling silver. It certainly beats all the rubbing the oxidation off. I'll try it on a few pieces. Thanks for the tip. Candy

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  2. Hi KatieJeans, you could have knocked me over with a feather when that cream started coming off. Make sure to get the kind without pumice!

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  3. That's a really great tip!! I have some vintage earring studs with spur that I want to use, but they are all oxidized & I am far too lazy to polish those teeny tiny things. I love your pendants!!!! I'm so JEALOUS of your skill set!!!

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  4. That's really neat, I love that discover feeling too. Maybe one day I'll have enough skills to do wire wrap

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  5. Your ornate wrapping is lovely, a skill I have not aquired (or practiced yet. And thanks for the Tip~~Leta P.S. I am following you know~~

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  6. I have admired your wire work for quite awhile. Nice blog you have here.

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  7. So glad you told us about fast orange!! Thanks

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Sorry, I was trying to delete my comment with an updated avatar picture.

    Anyway your blog looks great! I look forward to reading it.

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  10. I'm glad this is helpful to someone! Ginger, AWWWWWW, that's so nice! You totally made my day.

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  11. Good information. Great Article.

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  12. This is a great tip, but I am allergic to Fast Orange. Does the smell stay on the piece afterward? Maybe I can get my husband to do it for me if the smell goes away.

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