Post by koolbraider on Mar 12, 2014 10:58:19 GMT -6
This has been on my mind for a couple of years and I may have mentioned it before. One summer I made and sold some Egyptian Coil earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The next summer, since these were popular, I had to order more 18ga wire. While checking everything before taking it to the shop I found several coils, recently made, with really green spots and also some very bad green build up. I know for a fact that some "old wire" earrings had been stored in the same bag with the new wire ones during this period. No green on the old lying next to the new ones. I remade the bad ones thinking that perhaps the coils were too close for air circulation. But when I took a closer look at the old ones the coils were also closed. I need to add that the copper wire came from the same place (hate to mention the name because they have always done well for me).
The copper is just developing a patina. You probably know that since you did mention 'air circulation' but I don't think there is anything wrong with the copper.
The reason why the old and new didn't patina/oxidize the same way probably has more to do with the environment at the time you made each old&new pair; including your sweat and maybe even what you ate the day you made the new pair. Different chemicals will cause the copper to oxidize with different patinas.
Then again it's not difficult to imagine the copper might've been handled differently in storage or prior to shipping to you too.
I do a lot of copper bangles and they oxidize. I live in the tropics so it's far worse for me. I tell people that it will turn and the only way to prevent that is with polishing. You can slow the process with a sealant. I like spray fixative but the drawback to that is it makes it difficult to polish once it does turn. I also like renaissance wax but it is real expensive initially; that small can goes a long way, though. It's drawback is that it doesn't last as long as fixative, sorta. If you can maintain it it will but I don't know many that have a can of RenWax at home.
My personal opinion is that if you're going to use copper then let it do what it does. If you want bright and shiny then don't use copper. I leave the patina on my bangles but what sells is the shiny stuff...too bad; especially when I explain to people that it wont stay shiny and I show them what it will look like...eventually, most times they don't buy.
I'm still experimenting so if anyone has any ideas let me know.
Post by koolbraider on Mar 14, 2014 10:53:46 GMT -6
All pieces were LOS'd. What made me wonder why a batch made from one spool of wire was worse. I've had a pair of earrings and a bracelet for almost four years, stored in a plastic bag sometimes closed sometimes not. But suddenly the newer pieces were getting the greenies. (And I'm one of the folks who can wear copper ear wires after they have been oxidized.)
I leave the patina on my bangles but what sells is the shiny stuff...too bad; especially when I explain to people that it wont stay shiny and I show them what it will look like...eventually, most times they don't buy.
Most surprising to me. I don't work with metals primarily but Love copper and add it to my work any chance I have..I almost always LOS patina it. It's my preference, what I love to wear [ I find if I don't work that way the spark is gone for me] I don't like the new penny look myself ..now I'm curious about my customer base. I should make two similar pieces ..one bright penny shine, the other aged and old coppery, and attach a poll somehow.
People are probably split down the middle, patina or shiny, with a slight nod to shiny. The people that like shiny want it to stay shiny. We've discussed this here and a lot of people use lacquer. I haven't had much success with it.
Metal reacts, I say let it do what it is supposed to but even people who love the patina kinda want it to stay the way they bought it.