The only thing I like better than beading, is cooking. I could spend hours in my kitchen with my recipe books, my favorite set of knives, and my trusty cast iron skillet. And in a lot of ways, cooking is a lot like jewelry making: you need to master certain basic skills before you can put them all together to make a beautiful finished product. (I've always thought that some of my favorite jewelry making projects have looked good enough to eat!)
I was really tickled when I realized that a lot of the same ingredients and tools that I use in my cooking can also be used in my jewelry making! For a closet foodie like me, how cool is that? You still don't believe me? Check these out!
Using Eggs to Create a Patina on Your Sterling Silver. Oh, that Denise Peck is a clever one! She's showed me that I can use a hard-boiled egg to create a patina on any of my sterling silver wire findings. You just take your hard-boiled egg, chop it in half, and seal it in a plastic bag with whatever silver you want to patina. Leave it for a few days, and when it oxidizes, brush it up with some very fine steel wool (which I happen to have on hand anyway to clean my glass baking dishes), and polish it with a soft cloth.
Using a hard-boiled egg will take longer than using regular liver of sulfur, but an added bonus for me is that our chickens make sure we always have eggs in the house!
Use Baking Soda to Keep Your Jewelry Looking New. Jean Campbell also knows about the wonderful jewelry making secrets hiding in your kitchen cabinets! A simple solution of baking soda in hot water does wonders to clean your tarnished sterling silver jewelry. I love that in addition to keeping my refrigerator smelling nice and fresh, that little box of baking soda in my cabinet can also keep my favorite sterling silver jewelry looking brand new.
Add Texture to Metals with Kitchen Utensils. Sure, I have a whole kitchen full of gadgets for chopping, dicing, stirring, and mixing, but little did I know that those tools can be used to add wonderful textures to soft metals like brass and copper.
Jewelry Making Daily's Tammy Jones did some fun jewelry making experiments with common household objects -- including a couple of kitchen utensils -- and created some very cool textures on strips of copper with them! I don't think I'll ever look at my favorite wire whisk or my cheese grater the same way again.
Question: What Common Snack Food Can Create a Patina on Copper? That's the $64,000 question! Did you know that there is a snack food that you can use to create a patina on copper for your jewelry making projects? When I was in college, I ate a lot of these, never realizing that they could be so useful for creating wonderful colors and textures on metals!
Give up? It's salt-and-vinegar potato chips! That's the last thing I would have thought of when it comes to creating patinas on copper, but it really works. (And now I have another excuse to keep a bag of potato chips around the house!)
Want to learn more about using everyday items to make spectacular custom jewelry projects using wire and beads? Grab a copy of Kerry Bogert's newest book, Rustic Wrappings: Exploring Patina in Wire, Metal, and Glass Jewelry
. It's loaded with brilliant and easy ways to add patinas to your favorite metal jewelry making projects, as well as twenty-five step-by-step projects. Even if you've never worked with wire before, you'll find all the basic wire jewelry making tutorials you'll need to get started. (And you'll learn all about using those yummy salt-and-vinegar potato chips to create beautiful patinas on your jewelry making components!)
Pre-order your copy of Rustic Wrappings: Exploring Patina in Wire, Metal, and Glass Jewelry and let your jewelry making skills get in touch with your inner Julia Child! (Just don't eat that hard-boiled egg after you've oxidized your sterling silver with it, please.)
What unexpected technique have you used successfully in your jewelry making projects? Leave a comment and share your stories, tips, and techniques with us here on the Beading Daily blog!