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Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one.
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Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
04/06/2021, 19:16:43

In mid-February, I posted a pic of some African brass beads with black centers that had turned a creepy white color. I thought I'd solved the problem by dousing them with boiling water. Yay!

I put them in a bowl in my studio, planning on using them to make jewelry. But yesterday, I checked them out.

They've turned creepy white again!

I'm so disappointed. I don't know why this keeps happening, and I have no idea how to "fix" this.

The pics are still on this page, I'll try posting the original post's url for the pictures.

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com
Related link: crusty beads
Modified by Luann Udell at Tue, Apr 06, 2021, 19:20:12

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Something to try.
Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one. -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
04/08/2021, 14:16:31

If boiling water had a decent temporary effect, but the problem returned—and if there is reason to suspect it may be a fungus, try again.

Next time add a good quantity of vinegar to the water, and simmer the beads in the pot for 30 minutes. This will not only kill any fungus, it will also make the beads nicer-looking.

Let us know how you prosper. Jamey



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THANK YOU Jamey, I'll try that!!
Re: Something to try. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
04/08/2021, 16:50:17

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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Same issue, I have no idea what's going on.
Re: THANK YOU Jamey, I'll try that!! -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
04/25/2021, 12:05:53

I followed Jamey's instructions to the letter, thoroughly dried the beads afterwards, even set a bowl of them on my studio heater to make sure every speck of moisture was gone.

And within two weeks, they were covered with white stuff AGAIN.

To those who suggest humidity, this is California during the worst drought in ages. And we had no rain during this two-week period, until today. My studio is COLD but not humid.

Oy. If anyone has thoughts/suggestions (JAMEY!!!????) please let me know.

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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Consternation Solution
Re: Same issue, I have no idea what's going on. -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadman Post Reply
04/26/2021, 18:03:01

(The title is a pun.)

I have a solution that is made for cleaning really corroded coins. I have hesitated to use it for beads. You have to be careful with this stuff. But it strips corrosion down to the metal.

Perhaps worth a try....



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Re: Consternation Solution
Re: Consternation Solution -- beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
04/26/2021, 19:59:11

If it is a fungus and not an efflorescence limiting your exposure to the fungus may be wise as ones lungs are a pathway for certain fungal spores.



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It seems unlikely that a fungus would survive being simmered in a vinegar solution.
Re: Re: Consternation Solution -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadman Post Reply
04/26/2021, 22:37:09



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Re: Something to try.
Re: Something to try. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Hans06 Post Reply
04/27/2021, 00:46:24

Maybe it is not mold, but blooming of salts out of the black core.
Try putting some beads in saturated sugar water. That’s sometimes done in the housing construction with blooming briickwork.



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Thank you Hand, I will try that, too!
Re: Re: Something to try. -- Hans06 Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
05/13/2021, 19:34:44

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one./Aluminum Residue??
Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one. -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
04/27/2021, 04:04:03

Aluminum perhaps? I read this about aluminum being a component in Bronze and causing white residue & thought of you, for what it's worth:
https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=201952

Bead lover, collector since Age 15, semi-retired had wholesale/retail bead, folk art, tribal art store Lost and Found Gallery for 25 yrs. in DT Greensboro, NC

Modified by AnneLFG at Tue, Apr 27, 2021, 04:06:40

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It ONLY appears on the black "filler", not on the brass.
Re: Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one./Aluminum Residue?? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
05/19/2021, 19:32:17

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

Copyright 2021
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It ONLY appears on the black "filler", not on the brass.
Re: Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one./Aluminum Residue?? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
05/19/2021, 19:33:02

But I'll check out your link, thank you!

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

Copyright 2021
All rights reserved by Bead Collector Network and its users
It ONLY appears on the black "filler", not on the brass.
Re: Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one./Aluminum Residue?? -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
05/19/2021, 19:33:04

But I'll check out your link, thank you!

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one/Thoughts
Re: Another update about my brass beads, and a sad one. -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: AnneLFG Post Reply
05/20/2021, 00:34:18

Posted twice- also in the other related thread, sorry..

As you know the African Brass/Bronze Lost Wax bead method often involves carefully piecing threads of wax over a clay core- especially the hollow "filigree" looking beads. The wax bead construction may be coated/dipped first in a or several slurries of (charcoal &) clay and then packed carefully in clay which will make the outer one time mold.

EDIT- I should also add that the wax is removed by heating leaving through ports, and that the brass/bronze is then poured into the casting shape left by the wax through a hole or holes. The inner bead clay core remains at that point in the center of the bead. Oversimplified version..

Usually this inner clay core is broken up and expelled after the casting is cooled (?) and is broken open. You have to ask WHY the clay core did not break up? Why was the core retained? Was it a "bad" clay that solidified too much, and maybe had some extra and unusual mineral content (which may account for the white precipitate).

I do see some other similar Igbo Lost Wax Brass/Bronze beads that are retaining the clay core in a similar manner, though not turning white.

If you have a diamond tip bit for Dremel type drill are you able to clamp down a bead or two and drill the white/black core out? Is it too hard all the way through? Does it begin to break up at all? I think the odd composition of the clay core material is what is at the root of the problem.

Good luck- this is frustrating but you can figure it out, Anne

Bead lover, collector since Age 15, semi-retired had wholesale/retail bead, folk art, tribal art store Lost and Found Gallery for 25 yrs. in DT Greensboro, NC

Modified by AnneLFG at Thu, May 20, 2021, 23:08:38

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