How To Polish and Brighten Silver Wire Jewelry
How To Quickly Polish Silver Wire Jewelry
If you're an art jewelry designer, whether it be for bead jewelry, wire jewelry or any other type of jewelry for that matter, learning and then knowing how to polish silver wire is a must. This doesn't just apply to silver wire (now too expensive for many of us) but to other metals as well like brass, copper, aluminum, nugold. Polishing all the metals is the final step to completion and really should never be overlooked because of the added dimension "sparkle" gives to any good or well done piece of jewelry. This is all the more true if you've lovingly spent many hours making one or more pieces of handmade jewelry.
When it comes to wire jewelry making, polishing becomes an even more significant challenge. Why? All those tiny little wires, often carefully and painstakingly woven together, need to brighten and traditional metalsmithing techniques like using a polishing wheel can threaten to completely tear the piece of wire jewelry apart. Certainly a gentler method is necessary.
Best Wire Jewelry Polishing Cloths
So then, when it comes to polishing wire jewelry especially or even jewelry making of any kind, what are the best kinds of polishing cloths to use? As you can see in the photo above, my preference is to use the Sunshine Polishing Cloths. While some polishing products will, in fact, brighten your metals, they won't necessarily remove enough tarnish (oxidation) that rests on and can pretty much ruin, the overall look of your piece. Sunshine cloths are a bear at removing tarnish. So, not only do they remove tarnish, they clean and brighten your metals as well. On even the most tarnished of my wire jewelry, they will function beautifully to clean, polish and brighten. A caveat here though is that once you've used the Sunshine cloth to do that, a slight residue from the cleaning chemicals in the cloth will remain.
So, do make certain to use another towel (I use a paper towel) to lightly brush over your wire jewelry piece to remove that residue.
An Unexpected Polishing Tool
I simply love to see beautiful, sparkly jewelry and I knew that several years ago when I started experimenting with different types of cloths to just simply brush over my pieces. Having this kind of implement at a trade show or whenever you're selling your work comes in very handy as you wait in your booth for the early customers.
After considerable testing, I found that felt is an excellent tool for jewelry making because it brightens and removes many types of film on metal. Even more wonderful than that is the fact that felt is so very inexpensive compared to other types of polishing and brightening cloths.
Simply take yourself to a sewing store or even a Michael's, buy yourself some very inexpensive felt or felt squares, and you're in business. Trust me, your jewelry will never look better.