Liver of sulfur on silver

Carol Holaday rings
three rings with LOS
Carol Holaday - ring
Bird in a Bush ring

Three new rings created for the recent sale at Monterey Peninsula College. Showing these as examples of the colors that can be achieved on silver using liver of sulfur patina.

Liver of Sulfur for a rainbow of colors on silver –  adapted from instructions provided by Katherine Palochak.

2 C. hot water

about a half teaspoon of LOS gel (or can use dry lump form)

1 Tbsp. clear, plain ammonia

1 tsp. salt (I use kosher)

Dissolve the LOS in the hot water, then add the other ingredients. Stir well. Color of water will be yellow.

Dip piece to be patinated into a container of very hot water to pre-heat the metal, then briefly dip into the LOS solution.

Next dip it in a container of ice water to stop the action and set the patina.

Repeat as necessary to achieve the colors you want. Best to build up color slowly.  Color will develop beginning with straw gold and ending at total black. Left too long in the LOS and the black can become too thick and flake off.

This recipe is particularly good for the dark purple and blue iridescent colors although I have achieved some remarkable orange and magenta colors as well… as seen on the ring at right in photo.

Try different amounts of ammonia and salt (iodized salt gives a different color than kosher salt), and make color patterns by selectively dipping just certain areas of the piece into the LOS solution.

Allow the patina to dry and set before rubbing it off the high areas of the design with a fine polishing paper or pumice. I also use this process for copper and brass although the colors achieved will be very different. Mostly brown to black.

Photographing on white and on black

I photographed the recently created “Bird” cuff on a white background and on a black glass background as a test to see what works best for the piece. Both seem OK to my eye… just very different. The black is dramatic, the white seems more contemporary.  If I were to list this in my Etsy shop, I might also photograph it with some props from the garden. A leafy branch or two for instance. Plus I need a photo that shows the out-side of the ends as an alternate view.

The brass sheet was originally photo etched to use as a plate for roll printing onto silver, however, I decided it would work better used directly for jewelry. I am now wearing the cuff to see how the polished surface might change over time. The dark background is a heat patina that developed naturally when I annealed the metal for forming.

bird cuff photo etched
Bird cuff 1
Bird Cuff - Carol Holaday
Bird cuff 1 on black

New on-line exhibit at Ganoksin.com

Changing Hues: Color Embraced by Metalsmiths Around the World

In total 303 artists contributed 814 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition. Click on an image to see the details for the work pictured, including a larger image, the artist’s name and statement, plus a link to their web site if they provided one. I found so many new “favorites”… I know I’ll be spending lots of time checking out each artist’s work and reading their statements.If you see a piece you especially like and would like to see more from the same artist (many submitted more than one piece) you can enter the artist’s name in the “search this album” box near top right of the gallery page.

One of my three submitted pieces happens to be the first image on page one because the work is in alphabetical order by title.

“A Gilded Heart” was created for the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild 2012 Valentine themed show at Many Hands Gallery. For the beads in this necklace (both the focal bead and the smaller ones), I was experimenting with the different colors of gold that resulted from layering 24K foil over silver rich glass. The hints of color on the small bead to the left of the toggle comes from reducing the metal oxides in the special black glass before it goes into the kiln for annealing.

“Bright Bouquet” bracelet was featured in the 2011 Valentine show at Many Hands Gallery… and later sold at Lireille in Oakland. It is one of a series of flower themed bracelets… each with a different color palette for the glass.

The “Turquoise and Gold” stacked bead was created as a demonstration piece for a tube rivet demo. Details for the technique and materials used are in my April 14, 2013 post.

Check out the other Ganoksin Orchid Galleries to see more fabulous work from artists around the world.

Looking Back… and Forward

binders for classes
Teaching Materials

This won’t be “news” to friends, family, and students, however, others may not know, so here is my big announcement:

Six months ago (August 2013) I officially retired from Monterey Peninsula College where I taught Jewelry and Metal Arts classes for nearly 30 years! Over the years, as a part-time instructor, I taught more than 20 different special topic classes in addition to the basic and advanced metals classes… some more than 40 times, a few only once. I really enjoyed the research, writing, sample making, and learning, that went into every class I taught. The binders full of instruction, photos, resource lists, etc., that I created for each class, are a record of those classes and also a reminder of the many wonderful students who made teaching such a fulfilling endeavor. Their enthusiasm, creativity, and appreciation, helped keep my own creative energy flowing.

I am frequently asked, “Are you enjoying retirement?” Well… yes and no. I like having more time for my own work and for gardening, but I miss teaching. I miss the camaraderie of the classroom, as well as the focus required for preparing new demos and improving on content. I am thinking about how I can continue, or return to, the process somehow. Since so many are sharing their knowledge via the web, maybe this is the way; it is certainly something to think about. For now, I am working on updating and expanding a PowerPoint presentation that I can convert to a PDF for sharing here. This one is for Color on Metal, a workshop I presented in 2010. Meanwhile, here is one sample that I created for that class:

color on metal - paint
acrylic paint sample

Water based acrylic paint on textured copper.

Made with Love

I am exhibiting the two pieces shown in photos below as part of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild “Made with Love” jewelry exhibit and sale at Many Hands Gallery. The work of over 30 Guild members will be featured for this special event timed for Valentine Day shopping. Details for time and place are on the postcard back (below).

Made with Love postcard
“Marigold” bracelet – (MBMAG postcard designed by Linda Knudson).

Marigold earrings - Carol Holaday
“Marigold” earrings

announcement
Location and dates for exhibit and reception

New Work for two exhibits

Artist Statement 2013
My work expresses a reverence for the beautiful ocean I have lived near all my life. I am inspired by the constantly changing colors and patterns of the water’s surface and the life that teems below. I often utilize shapes and colors with symbolic connections that are both obvious and ambiguous.

Mind, Heart & Hand: From the Metal Artist’s Studio
A Juried Exhibition of work by the Members of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild at the
Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
December 6, 2013 – February 4, 2014

Z Folio Gallery: Structure + Rhythm
Gallery Exhibition
Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild
Z Folio Gallery, Cannery Row, Monterey CA
November 25 2013 to January 6, 2014

Aphrodite's Amulet
Aphrodite’s Amulet

Poseidon's Ring 2013
Poseidon’s Ring 2013
back of Poseidon's Ring
back of Poseidon’s Ring
Ocean Amulet 2013
Ocean Amulet 2013

What I am working on now

Documenting a process. I am slowly working on describing the steps I use in creating original artwork for the photo-etching technique I use to produce pattern on sheet metal.

fern photo 5
color photo of fern

I find that starting with my own photos gives me a way to create unique patterns that express my interests. These patterns can be applied in many different ways… ending with a great variety of “results” depending on the choices made along the way. Just three of the many possible results are featured in this post as examples. Only three cuffs for now, but I also have ring bands and pendants from the same photo.

Cuff bracelet
Cuff bracelet with fern print
Cuff above was first colored with heat and then a chemical patina was applied.

fern cuff with LOS
Fern Cuff with LOS only
Cuff above has a simple LOS patina only.

Fern Cuff with Guilder's paste
Fern Cuff with Guilder’s paste and LOS
Cuff above was first colored with both gold and silver Gilder’s paste, and then with LOS.

Edit May 5, 2013 – I keep starting and stopping with this “tutorial” project because I am not sure I have anything new, or sufficiently different, to add to what is already available on the subject. Just do a Google search for “how to etch metal at home” and you will be overwhelmed by the results. Or an image search for “etched copper jewelry” and many of the results will take you to instructions. This is a VERY popular technique with lots of variations for every part of the process… start to finish. Plus, how useful would instructions for preparing an image from a photo be for someone who doesn’t have Photoshop for transforming the photos? Will Photoshop Elements work? How about the free photo editing programs? One large tutorial or many smaller ones for each step? Lots to think about. Meanwhile, I think I’ll simply report on what is working for me as a way of sharing.

Stacked Saucer bead

Taking a break from etching experiments to prep and make a stacked saucer bead for a tube rivet demo. I really like the color combination of high karat gold and turquoise and this inspired my choice of materials for coloring the copper and brass.

stacked and riveted saucer bead
Stacked Saucer bead with color

stacked saucer bead components
components for stacked saucer bead

coloring materials
coloring materials for the stacked saucer bead

I started with three 24 gauge 1 1/2″ discs. The fine silver tube is 1/4″ OD. The silver jump ring is soldered closed. After coloring the domed copper discs with first the paint and then the Gilder’s Paste, they were sprayed with acrylic to seal them. The gold leafing pen was used to color the small flat brass washers only. I used a small cross pein hammer to texture the edge of the brass center. The beautiful tube riveting tools from Tim Lazure where used to set and finish the rivet.

riveting tool set
Riveting tool set from Tim Lazure.com

Two sides of another saucer bead made using similar techniques. This one features etched copper discs colored with Gilder’s paste and LOS and a copper center disc with a red heat patina.
4509w

Saucer Bead with etched copper
Saucer Bead with etched and colored copper