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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Aging Process

I have spent the last few days, giving some shiny brass chains a whole new look....aged! I had recently purchased a whole bunch of vintage brass ball chains, but they were way to shiny and new looking for my liking. I had aged some chains before, with great results, so I decided to do it again, but to experiment a little more this time. 

 I started off with bright shiny brass chains:

I then poured some regular white vinegar into a bowl




 Inside  the bowl, just above the vinegar, I set a plastic colander with all of the chains piled inside. I then covered the top with plastic wrap, and let everything sit for a whole day and night. When I returned, the chains looked like this!






 The vapor from the vinegar had tarnished the brass chain, and it had started to take on a wonderful aged patina.









I rinsed the chains, and dried them thoroughly with paper towels, and spread them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I then set them in a 200F oven for about 15 minutes.



When I removed them from the oven, I took about half of the chains and decided to experiment even further.  The first batch were dumped into a bowl of Balsamic vinegar, for about 10 minutes, and they turned this light strawberry blonde color!


I sprinkled the remaining chains with some coarse sea salt, and put  them all into a sealed Ziploc bag along with a paper towel soaked in Balsamic Vinegar, I let this marinate for a couple of hours.




Again, I rinsed and dried the chains and was very pleased with this reddish color.

Then to add a bit of luster back to the chain, I rubbed each chain with some bronze guiders paste, and buffed with a soft cloth.



On this tray you can see the three colors that I achieved with this experiment. In this photo the bronze and strawberry blonde chains have been buffed with the paste, and the red ones are still quite matte, awaiting the final step.


I was really pleased how these chains turned out! I have lots of ideas for using these chains in my designs...so stay tuned!

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4 comments:

Catherine said...

Very cool! I like this much better than they shiney new.
xo Catherine

BeadedTail said...

Very interesting! I like how they turned out and can't wait to see how you use them!

Jenni said...

Great effort and they all look wonderful...I would never have thought of all those different ways to get such cool effects. Thanks for sharing.
Jenni

Swapna said...

They look great , Susan... and such variety ... can't wait to see how your designs..

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