Friday, February 5, 2010
Recycled sterling silver, copper etched with brain coral pattern, gynormous saltwater pearl, size 8. This one will be in my etsy shop before the end of the weekend.
When I made this ring tonight I had forgotten to heat up my pickle pot (pickle is a solution used to remove copper oxides that form on a piece after soldering). I use citric acid pickle because it is non-toxic and safe for the environment, unfortunately it doesn't work cold, and I didn't want to microwave it since it contains copper ions. (I have since learned that it is ok to microwave metals, as long as they are completely covered by water - who knew?)
I remembered that my friend Jo Hollingsworth has had good luck with salt and vinegar pickle. All I had in the house was apple cider vinegar. I heated that up in the microwave and added table salt to it until the salt no longer dissolved. It worked great! According to Jo, yellow gold can take as long as an hour to pickle, it works fairly quickly on other metals.