It's unforgettable….the aroma of LOS, or liver of sulfur. Oh boy! My husband can tell exactly what I'm doing when he walks in the room 😉 However, you get wonderful results with it! Instead of just telling you my tips and tricks, I turned this into a bit of tutorial on my process. I ran and grabbed a piece I made ages ago and had never finished. Yes, and I started this tutorial at 10pm and it's now 11:40pm. Nothing like last minute ideas, with a deadline. I hope you enjoy 😉
Here's how I do it:
I take my stainless steel creamer container and fill it up with 6-8oz water and put it on my hot plate and turn it up to high.
I use a brass brush or my preference is to use the brass wheels on my flexshaft, like the Prodigy FlexShaft. It's quick and gets down into the grooves quickly! So much better than regular brass brushing! I dip my piece in soap and water a few times to keep the brass lubricated too.
I set up a small bowl of lemon ammonia and a small bowl of Mr Blue Clean (which is no longer available but I have a huge container of it).
I then put a nugget the size of a pepper corn of LOS granulated form, into the hot water.
I use stainless steel tweezers and I dip and agitate the piece and then remove it to see how it's coming along. I then choose to dip it in the ammonia or the blue solution, or both. The yellow ammonia seems to make the pinks and purples pop and the blue solution gets me the most incredible teal blue colors. I continue dipping in the LOS and the ammonia and or Mr Blue Clean, back and forth til satisfied.
I dry it and then use a Pro Polishing Pad to remove the LOS on the high areas which reveals the silver.
Then using a Burnisher, I rub the silver to polish it to a high shine on the edges of the piece and the high areas. This gives the piece definition and catches the eye with subtle glimmer. A rubber block is very helpful elevating your work to burnish and polish!
Next, I use Nikolas Spray to seal the colors. It's incredible stuff! It won't knock down the pinks or blues like Renaissance Wax does or other sealers. This stuff can't be beat. It also seems to stand up to lots of wear and tear with even the most acidic skin. If you have stones, you can cover them with a little vaseline prior to spraying. You only need to do two thin coats, on each side, letting them dry in between coats.
Why don't I use the new LOS gel or Patina Gel. I'm pretty frugal. The cost of 1/2oz of granulated LOS is $2.55 and will last about 100 eight ounce containers. The stuff goes bad in 6 months to a year. I keep mine in my temperature controlled studio and it stays good for about a year. $2.55 lasts me that long just about. The Patina Gel costs $4.80 for 18-24 applications of 8 ounces. That's a lot more expensive. I don't mind shelling out another $2.55 if absolutely necessary for the granules.
Please visit my fellow carnies and find out what their tip and tricks are with patina: