I ordered the beads and made the bracelet you see here. It sold right away, which I was thrilled at but then I found myself in a quandary. I knew Lisa had sealed her beads and I knew what sealer I wanted to use to protect the natural patina of the copper, that beautiful and bright natural copper color, but would the two mix??
ProtectaClear by Everbrite has been my new favorite sealer for my Wire Helix Series. While I love Renaissance Wax and the protection it affords, it was really hard for me to reach all the little ins and outs of the delicate weaves and coils the Helix Series bracelets and necklaces have. That's why I've been using the ProtectaClear. I could spray or brush this tough coating on, and it provided me with the protection and finish I wanted. That little bit of shine isn't bad either.
Back to the bracelet shown above. Lisa used a water-based polyurethane to seal her polymer clay beads...and trust me, that is really great! I love the look it gives the beads, and Lisa knows what she's doing. I'm the one with the problem, remember? I am storing this bracelet in an anti-tarnish bag until I'm sure I've reached a solution that is good for the bracelet and good for the customer buying this piece of jewelry.
I decided to experiment on another bead I purchased from Fanceethat, with her permission and Everbrite's knowledge. I took this bead that had been coated with the water-based polyurethane, and put a coat of ProtectaClear on it. ProtectaClear is a resin or solvent-based sealer.
What that means to the layman is this: The water-based sealers begin to harden when the water evaporates. Of course, that is simplifying it by leaps and bounds. A solvent-based sealer begins the hardening or curing process when the solvent evaporates. The curing process of both goes through a series of chemical reactions that finish the curing of the sealer. Wikipedia offers the best full explanation of the process if you are interested.
Long story short...oil and water don't mix, usually. Even the kind folks at Everbrite, the creators of ProtectaClear, said I should proceed with caution because their finish could cause the other finish to crack or peal.
Hence, my experiment. What I did was give one side of the bead a coating of ProtectaClear to see what, if any, would be the reaction. To be honest, I thought when I first applied the ProtectaClear, the polyurethane finish would crack. However, it has been over and hour, and you can see from the pictures that it hasn't...as of yet.
|Polyurethane coated side|
|ProtectaClear coated side|
It takes the ProtectaClear a little while to cure, so I am going to give it a while longer before I pass final judgement. I will poke it and scrape it with my fingernail, which you really "shouldn't" do to a bead like this, but I want it to be as thorough a test as I can with my limited knowledge and no real lab to work in.
So for now, it's later gator. I will let you know how this little experiment comes out. Send me your comments if you've experienced this yourself and we'll work it out together. Until next time (real soon), Stay Wired Up!! Gail