I recently saw a product advertised which piqued my interest! It is made by HS Walsh here in the UK and is a Silver Plating Solution. Apparently all you do is rub it on and it adds silver to the surface. Whilst this seems to be mainly marketed for tarting up items of worn silver plate the fact that it said it could be used on any base metal got me interested. I wondered how well it would work on fired bronze clay :)
I sorted out 4 pieces made using Goldie Bronze to have a play with.
As these had been sitting around a while the first thing I did was polish them up to shiny, shiny :)
(You can tell they are now shiny as you can see me holding the camera reflected on the angel ;) )
The instructions said I needed a soft cloth and some rubber gloves so my hands didn't go black. I was good to go!
I started out on the angel. Applied the solution liberally and rubbed...and applied and rubbed...and applied and rubbed...well you get the idea. A lot of elbow grease later and the angel was a little bit silvery - not what I had hoped for. Then I went onto the stone set ring working on the topper. Same thing. Definitely a lighter colour but not really silver. That stone set ring was made using a RingCore and guess what - as soon as I applied some solution onto the inside of the ring band it went silver straight away!!
Yup - it was one of those 'duh' moments. Of course. The RingCore was not metal clay so was not porous! Even though I had polished the pieces up really well using 3M Radial Bristle brushes and they were nice and shiny I had not used anything that was going to really seal the pores in the metal.
So I got out my agate burnisher and burnished the surface of the cross really well. When I used the solution on it in just two applications the cross was really nice and silvery looking! Success!!
I left the square ring plain bronze to try to show the difference. Not easy to capture in a photo but hopefully you can see the difference.
I think this Silver Plating Solution gives a nice option for a quick silvery finish on base metal, and it is supposed to help prevent tarnishing. I'll leave these pieces out and report back on that in due time.
So there you have it - if you want a fast silvery look to your base metal clay make sure you burnish REALLY well :)