Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Want Some Ketchup With That Copper?

Next time you're chowing down on that Big Mac and fries....save a little ketchup and watch it work wonders on your copper jewelry!

I was always a little hesitant to work in copper because of the icky tarnish factor and the fact it seems to turn quicker than sterling....but I recently heard of a nifty little trick that involves ketchup. And anything that involves ketchup HAS to be good. (as in....major excuse to order fries). Copper when exposed to oxygen in the air we breathe, forms copper oxide, which will have a brownish-black hue on the surface. If you take a little bit of ketchup and let it sit on the piece of tarnished copper for several minutes....give it a little scrub, rinse in water and dry...you will be surprised to see how shiny and bright that copper is! It's shinier than a baby's bottom!! (huh?) The vinegar and salt in the ketchup devour tarnish just like you devoured those fries. Isn't that cool? Of course you can use a vinegar and salt mixture too...but that requires mixing....and how much easier is it to just give Heinz a little squeeze?

So....I did a little experimenting with copper this weekend and came up with a couple of pendants.

This one above I call "Floating on a Dream" pendant. I sawed out a round disc from 26 gauge copper and just started bending and twisting it until I came up with a pseudo-flower shape! Then I got the brilliant idea of trying to make it 'float' so I sawed off a small piece of sterling silver tubing and soldered it to the back of the copper flower and soldered that assembly to the hand sawn silver circle. Dangles came to mind next and I was pretty undecided about what color Swarovski crystals to use....until it smacked me in the face that the opaque turquoise colored ones will look great....kind of giving it a Southwesterny feel.

This next pendant is called "Entanglement" just because it kind of looks a little tangled up to me. I did the same thing with the little copper 'flowers' and soldered them onto sterling silver square wire. This was a fun piece to make because I started off having like zippo ideas of where I was going with this and just let it happen.

Fun with copper! So...I definitely might be incorporating a little copper into my designs now knowing that all it takes is a little ketchup to keep it shiny. *Just a word of caution ladies....please make sure your boyfriends/husbands know that your ketchup covered jewelry is NOT EDIBLE!* You know how men are. LOL. Oh, and p.s.....I tried using Taco Bell hot sauce....this works too!! Another excuse to run to the border! ;-)


SummersStudio said...

These are great pieces. I love copper and silver together.

Laura B said...

These pendants are beautiful and such a fab trick with the ketchup!
Great excuse to oreder some chipc :)

LexieJewel said...

Thanks so much! It really is amazing how the ketchup works! ;-)

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

I realize I'm commenting on almost a year old post but I had to say thanks for the amazing ketchup tip! (the top pendant with the turquoise is just gorgeous too!)


Always Butting In

The Meltdown

The Meltdown
Inspired by a commute from hell

About Me

My photo
Chester, NY, United States
Dreamer? Stargazer? Quirky Aquarian? All of those! And, I am a self taught jewelry designer with a voracious desire to learn anything and everything. I have been working with metals for a year now and have not blown up the garage or burned off my eyebrows yet, so I'm heading in the right direction. I tremendously detest my dead end boring desk job and spend most of the day finding ways to distract myself by doodling/sketching, making sculptures out of anything and everything I can find, drinking and spilling lots of coffee, and making my coworkers laugh. I have a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine, I enjoy getting tattooed, I'm an eternal optimist, I love my watercolors and oil paints and wish I spent more time with them, I have an over-active imagination and consider my mind to be my own worst enemy, I have an uncanny knack to spell almost any word (how can I capitalize on THAT?!), I like making people laugh, I enjoy photography – especially taking macro shots of my metalsmithing tools and I am in a perpetual power struggle with my wild and crazy curly hair. And, last but not least..nothing makes me happier than to see and feel a piece of my soul in everything I create.