It’s funny how most of us are so worried about getting old, yet we often seek the marks of time when it comes to the objects we surround ourselves with.
The best example of this fascination with time and its sometimes beautiful aesthetics can be seen in interior design and I especially want to talk about something that has been fascinating me for over a year now –oxidized glass.
Ever since I took the Amy Howard at Home workshop in Memphis about Antiquing, I became obsessed with testing this oxidization process as much as possible. The maker-painter in me screamed ‘yabadabadoo’.
Usually, mirrors have their own natural way of oxidizing over time, but by adding sulfer to the story you can speed up the process and create unique design pieces in order to adapt any space you want. They might not be the best objects to check your outfit in before walking out the door, but they will surely brighten up the mood of a hallway, living room, kitchen and why not, bedroom.
The beauty of this process is that you can create simple, yet effective objects that look like they’ve been on this planet for years on end, but also develop complex interior design projects, like the ones you can see below.
So let’s begin!
Here are my tips for a DIY project at home:
- First and foremost, use gloves (and perhaps goggles, as well);
- Clean up the grey layer on the back (I use Simple Green) and with the mirror stripper start the oxidization process (I use the Amy Howard product seen above). Shortly, you’ll begin to see something that looks like alligator skin;
- Then, with a sheet of paper, take the stripper skin off. Sometimes, you might have to do a second stripping session, followed by a thorough cleaning. At this point, the surface will be highly sensitive, so don’t touch it unless you want to leave permanent scratches on it;
- Use the antiquing solution (also Amy Howard). Depending on how much you let this product on, your mirror might look slightly antiqued or all the way mercuried. I’d call this the creative stage. Play around with it, and when you’re done, rinse, rinse, rinse!
- The process ends with a sealer, almost like putting back the layer of grey that you took off in the beginning – although this time it can be any color.
Personally, after doing this for quite some time now, I can’t wait to find the right space to use these little or big precious pieces. Here are some of the samples I’ve been playing with in the last few months:
This is a project on furniture where I used oxidized mirror:
Here’s a beautiful piece of art called Transient Mirror by David Derksen Design
And our feature in “Wish to do that”: