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Thread: Platinol

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Shropshire
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    56

    Default Platinol

    Morning all

    Another little question - I use platinol to darken prints and text and polish back so the flat surface of charms are silver again. I always rinse the pieces well and soak in fresh pot of boiling water and bicarb for at least 15 mins, plus they get an ultrasonic bath. They go to customer looking perfect. However we keep getting people contact us a couple of days down the line saying a dark spot has developed on a silver area - seems to be happening more frequently lately even though have been extra careful in ensuring any rogue spots are removed. Is this just unavoidable or is there something else I could be doing to stop this? I thought the bicarb was meant to stop the reaction? Wondering if I have been sent a duff bag or something, my platinol is a few years old, don't know if that would make any difference? Thought of applying a dab of wax but would that stop a further reaction?

    Any advice appreciated. Wish people wouldn't insist on us darkening things, would make life much easier and always think it cheapens the piece as they then remind of the gothic costume jewellery we used to buy from the local market as kids

    Thanks

    Mel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    7,983

    Default

    Hi Melanie. I have not had this problem, but I have lately taken to using Noirit from Cookson which is somehow easier to use and you get plenty for your money.
    To redo your piece you would have to heat until the black goes, and pickle.
    An alternative would be to give up patinating solution all together and use a waterproof pen such as a Sharpie. You can get them double ended (fine and thick) and rub back the excess as before. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    My platinol is fairly old and I haven't had this problem either. Is it maybe something the customers are using that's reacting? I had a customer who bought a pendant with platinol behind a knitted insert in a dome and the frontage of the pendant was matt. A few months later when I saw her the whole thing was splattered, she must have sprayed perfume on it and she thought it looked nice. She appeared at my show at the weekend earring the pendant, I couldn't even get the tarnish off the back with silver dip, I had to sand it as it was solid black, the oxidised part looked as if it had been painted with black paint and there was nothing I could have done but take it all apart and start again:/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    My platinol is fairly old and I haven't had this problem either. Is it maybe something the customers are using that's reacting? I had a customer who bought a pendant with platinol behind a knitted insert in a dome and the frontage of the pendant was matt. A few months later when I saw her the whole thing was splattered, she must have sprayed perfume on it and she thought it looked nice. She appeared at my show at the weekend earring the pendant, I couldn't even get the tarnish off the back with silver dip, I had to sand it as it was solid black, the oxidised part looked as if it had been painted with black paint and there was nothing I could have done but take it all apart and start again:/
    Find out what it was and then patent it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Scotland
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    She is just a mucky besom, skin, sweat, even food probably and she was a GP! It had a leather necklet on it which was why I'd taken it to the workshop as the catch looked a bit wonky but the leather was fraying it's just the Anne Factor

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
    Posts
    3,271

    Default

    Mel, is this sterling or metal clay? If the latter, I wonder if you've got a porous spot? It sounds like your cleanup process is pretty thorough with bicarb and ultrasonic, but even really well sintered metal clay is more porous than sterling or even manufactured fine silver. This means that skin contact, atmospheric conditions, pollutants and especially cleaning agents can get trapped in those areas and give the appearance of oxidisation pretty fast.

    It might be worth trying a couple of experiments to see if a piece that hasn't been treated with platinol (or any other blackening treatment) does the same thing, in which case it may be that you need to either look at other factors or perhaps try some fairly vigorous burnishing?

    I'm sure I have far less experience than you do with the materials you're using, so this is just thinking out loud so can be completely ignored if you like

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Its happening quite a lot all of a sudden - but only when I have used the platinol so its defo decided to carry on developing. I had wondered whether it could be due to the porosity of the clay although its strange that it has started to occur more when my processes are the same - perhaps my customers are just getting more observant! Think perhaps will buy me a new bag of bicarb just in case, and will give that Noirit a whirl, as the non-stinkyness appeals! If it is the clay/porosity thing then it shouldn't bug me much longer as have moved away from clay in favour of casting. Defo eating humble pie on the clay v's "proper" silver debate, and am enjoying making my pieces from wax much more Thanks for your advice - greatly appreciated as always

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