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Darkening Galvy the Easy
(And Free!) Way
Article © MAIL User: Jazzer

First of all let me say, this is NOT the most effective (i.e. fastest or providing the best color change) method to darken galvy. However, this may be the EASIEST way to darken galvy, as all it takes is an old bottle, some water, and a few days. Let me apologize first off for the quality of the photos. Also, darkening your rings this way will not only just darken them, but also decrease their smell as well (at least that's my theory.)

Materials

-Fair sized bottle (32 oz works good, but size depends on size of piece you are darkening, the top of mine is chopped off so I could fit a piece of dragonscale into it)
-Duct tape (when do you not need the stuff?)
-some paper towels
-water
-a little bit of wire or yarn
-the galvy maille you wish to darken

Image: darkeningmaterials.jpg

Assembling the rig

First, tear the paper towels up a bit, but not too much. Put them into your bottle. Then, fill the bottle with water so it covers about half of the paper towels. The purpose of using water-soaked paper towels instead of just water is debatable, though I think it increases the rate of evaporation, which will speed up the darkening of you maille.

Image: bottle.jpg

Okay, now you need to suspend your maille (in my case a piece of roundmaille I made some time back) above the water with the wire. The process occurs because of the water vapor, not the water, so don’t have your maille sitting in the water, have it above it. Make sure to seal off the loop of the wire where you put it around the maille so the maille doesn’t fall into the water if the bottle gets moved. Also, don’t pay attention to the other tape around the edge of the bottle, that’s just there from the last time I sealed it up.
In the picture, you can’t see it, but I secured the end of the wire to the outside of the bottle with a small strip of tape.

Image: unsealed.jpg

Next, simply seal off the top with some duct tape. You want a good enough seal that your bottle is fairly water tight (so the water vapor stays inside. Here’s a picture of how I sealed off mine. There is no picture of this, but it may help to poke a very small hole in the duct tape covering so oxygen can get in (the hole isn't big enough to make a significant difference in amount of water vapor.)


Image: sealed.jpg

Well, that’s all the work necessary. Now, for best effects, leave the bottle in a place where the water can easily evaporate in the bottle. It usually takes a day or so for a nice equilibrium to form, but after that the water vapor stays in the air pretty well. A good place to leave it is out in the sun for a few hours every day. Don’t leave it out there too long because I’m not sure what would happen if you left it out there too long and dirt got in it or something. A sealed porch or a windowsill would be ideal because it could get sunlight all day while still remaining in the safety of indoors. It usually takes about 4 or 5 days to get a significant change. I’ve never left my maille in for more than 4 or 5 days, so I’m not sure what happens after that (i.e. if it continues to darken or if it stops.)
When you first take your maille out, it will be a dull grey color and you may have to wash it off if a little bit of white (zinc oxide) formed on the outside, but if you either tumble the maille or just carry it around for a while where the rings can rub against each other, the darkness will come to a shine, so you will have very nice dark, shiny rings. Here’s what a chain of FP looks like after a few days of darkening and a week or so of being on my keychain compared to some really loose roundmaille on the right. Notice the difference in color, yet no difference in shininess (this picture is scanned so quality is better and you can see the difference more clearly.)

Image: comparison001.jpg


I hope you found this informative, and not too confusing. Any questions, feel free to email me or send me a PM. Also, I grant anyone the right to do whatever they want with this info, including reproducing it; also welcome to take credit for it, though I don’t know why someone would want to.

Enjoy your darkened galvy!


Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=430