Dark Patina a Dramatic Graphic Contrast

Posted on April 08, 2014 by Gina Pankowski | 0 Comments

     I often refer to my designs as “three dimensional drawings”. My process begins with the sketch of hard lines and pattern then I create the idea in wire models to refine curves and movement. The image of the drawing is always with me, an architectural plan, a graphic. I love the contrast of a dark line on paper. To express this in my jewelry I color my silver with a dark patina.
    Sterling Silver is composed of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. If you own Sterling Silver Jewelry or table ware you know that over time it tarnishes or oxidizes, the copper is the culprit. To achieve the graphite dark patina I like I artificially speed up oxidation by exposing the jewelry to the common chemical potassium sulfide, used in garden fertilizer to skin care treatments. Jewelers use it to create an “antique” finish. Mix a small amount in warm water then immerse the silver jewelry for a few minutes, rinse in cold water for a matte black finish like the Architectonic Bracelet pictured.


    I love to push contrasts in my designs. Using 22k gold and sterling silver together with the more highly polished dark patina pictured here on my earrings is one of my favorite combinations. For this finish the same potassium sulfide water bath is used then the jewelry is tumble polished with stainless steel shot. The steel planishes the metal like hundreds of tiny hammers. I love the hard shine and reflection with the high carat gold.

Posted in Bracelet, Earrings, Patina



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