Wednesday, 2 November 2011
To oil or not to oil
I've vinegar etched a few more MOP beads this weekend and today I wanted to see what would happen if I oiled one of them. Sometimes the etched matte surface looks great, other times the contrast between motif and etched background feels too harsh. Remembering that I'd read about treating seashells with mineral oil to bring out colours and add a subtle shine, I dabbed a few drops on one of the less successful beads and rubbed it into the shell.
The image is slightly less visible than it was before being oiled, but I think it turned out nicely.
This image wasn't the best to begin with, I should add. (I forgot to take a "before" picture so all you can compare with is the unoiled bead at the top of the post, sorry.) This bead is freshly oiled. I'm not sure how much it will change once the oil has really soaked in and dried. If it does change significally, I'll update this post and let you know.
I'll probably be a good method for some of my etchings, especially when the matte background feels too "dry" or white. But other will probably not need any oil. Not for aesthetic purposes at least. Another option I haven't tried is to lacquer the shell. Many MOP pendants and beads I've seen lately have been lacquered, which gives them more of a shine, but I'm not sure how a lacquer or sealant will affect the etched and unetched areas.