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Topic: Chemistry and Art + reagents  (Read 6391 times)

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Offline agnoiology

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Chemistry and Art + reagents
« on: July 30, 2012, 08:11:59 PM »
Hello, I realized this is a specialized forum but I hope this can be refreshing (or fun to discuss) as well as didactic for me.

I am looking into personalizing a set of earrings I am making for my girlfriend and the way I wanted to do that is by using some of her hair in or within a chemical reaction to get a unique reaction that I can later contain on something appropriate for earrings (so if working with liquids I could enamel them or find little transparent plastic containers etc.).

 What first came to mind was colour reactions, but I remember very little about reagents and reactions from my chemistry classes. I'd appreciate any input on  how I can achieve this, I am particularly looking into visually striking reactions so hopefully she will be impressed by this lil project.  What materials (solvents etc.) would I need that react to hair or that hair can modify in a particular way?

Thanks in advanced!

p.s. It doesn't have to be hair (that is just the most casual and preferred body part for me to ask for) asking for a flake of skin would just sound creepy, ironically enough blood wouldn't be so creepy (a pinch for science!)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 08:50:31 PM by agnoiology »

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Chemistry and Art + reagents
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 08:51:06 PM »
Skin and hair are poor choices for a colorimetric reaction.  They are very dead, and very dry, and will react with some things, but nothing very interesting comes to mind.  I know blood has a UV fluorescent reaction with luminol, but I don't know if that will endure sealed in an earring-type vial for a long time.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Ann1234

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Re: Chemistry and Art + reagents
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 11:55:53 PM »
well my first thought is hair dyes-you can try either dyeing some of her hair with a nice color and make earrings like these ones:

http://www.beadinggem.com/2008/05/hair-jewelry-then-and-now.html

http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/pink-hair-earrings

Or you can try placing the hair plus some dye in a little container-however I am not sure about the stability of the mixture long term...


Offline agnoiology

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Re: Chemistry and Art + reagents
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 12:36:29 AM »
Thank you for your responses, Arkcon the luminol idea would be cool but it definitely has a life span of no more than 2 minutes. To clarify what my intentions are I was hoping there was a way I could affect something like oscillating reactions with the hair/skin/blood. Any thoughts on this?

Offline aliphatic

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Re: Chemistry and Art + reagents
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 08:23:46 PM »
Oscillating reactions and blood got me thinking (and I'm sorry if this is in any way offensive):

St Januarius has a holy relic in Naples that supposedly contains his blood. Once a year, it is taken out for a week and supposedly turns from solid clotted blood to liquid, then back again.

There are a bunch of theories that try to explain it, but the two that would work best for you are

A) it contains a low melting point wax or oil.
B) it contains a thixotropic gel. (Shear stresses liquify it) ,

Both scenarios would be good, the first if you got a wax with a melting point around 75-80 degrees or so, and used a heat conducting wire, her body heat would warm it throughout the evening.
Vaseline by itself might be good, and you can add wax to it to raise the melting point, or it to wax to lower the waxes melting point. A bit of experimentation would be in order to find an optimal melting temperature.

The second, if you had them dangle, the swinging action would do the same.
Have an article showing how it could be done:
 http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_06_3_epstein.pdf

In both the coloring agent would be iron oxide.

No actual use of any corporeal donations, and I know that was the point, but in case you can't come up with anything else, it would at least be an interesting conversation piece.

Gentleman, Scholar, Judge of Fine Whiskey.

Offline agnoiology

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Re: Chemistry and Art + reagents
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 10:58:44 AM »
Aliphatic this is very interesting and was a fun read! thank you for sharing. In the end though it seems none of the 'fake blood' attempts was stable enough overtime so they'd be temporary earrings....cool stuff though!
 

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