A few weeks ago, a customer asked me to replicate an old wire wrapped coil ring which she'd lost. I enjoy doing custom orders, especially when the piece of jewelry means so much to the person wearing it. Anyway, she sent me a sketch of her ring, which was a simple, but beautiful, symmetrical wire design:
She asked me if I could use very thick brass wire, so I got some in 14 gauge. I've never used this before, but I actually really like it. It's softer than 14 gauge gold or silver wire and makes a nice, chunky ring.
Though she really liked my version of her missing ring, she had another request: that I use chemicals to make it look like an antique since her old ring was a vintage piece. I've worked with ferric chloride while doing champleve enamel jewelry, but have never antiqued any jewelry. I was upfront about this, but curious as to what would happen if I soaked the ring in an acid bath. Here is the result:
No, it ain't pretty. It looks a bit like moths got to it or something. Fortunately the customer had a good sense of humor and understood that this was just an experiment... though she did refer to this ring as an "acid trip," LOL. She ended up purchasing the ring, anyway, and I made her a normal version of it.
I'm always up for experimenting with new materials and techniques -- and in this sale, I got to do both! So even though my antiquing didn't work out, the project certainly wasn't a failure.