Blackening silver

Last night I brought four silver chains to my class with Susie that were either broken or too short to wear. I wanted to combine them and maybe experiment with combining the chain with a length of ribbon or material. I also really wanted to try blackening the silver. 

To blacken silver you use Liver of Sulphur which is the alchemists' name for a chemical mixture that is produced by heating potassium carbonate with sulphur. When you expose metal to Liver of Sulphur it to oxidises it. This is like tarnishing, only you are doing it on purpose and controlling which parts turn black and which do not. You can also dilute the mixture with water to create different colours. 
In this case I just wanted everything to turn black so we dumped the chains (after soldering the broken parts to one another) into a glass of Liver of Sulphur. It works instantly. I really like the effect, how it hides the preciousness of the silver. I think this would look so cool with a tiny bit of gold somewhere. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Yeah - like one gold ball or something sitting asymmetrically.