Electroplating (also electroforming) glass is the process of electrically depositing a thin layer of metal onto a glass surface. Copper and sliver are two popular metals used in electroplating glass.
The basic process involves the following steps:
- The artist applies an initial conductive treatment to the area(s) of glass where the electroplating is desired. Graphite and metal lusters/powders can be used for this purpose.
- The glass is submersed in a solution of dissolved metal.
- A current is run from a positive electrode (anode) through the solution to conductive surface treatment to which the negative electrode is attached. If the artist is using an AC power source then a rectifier is required.
The final effect can be altered by changing voltage, solution characteristics and/or length of the process.
Warning: Electroplating can be a very hazardous activity. The metal solutions are frequently created by dissolving metals in acids and fumes created during the electroplating process can be very hazardous. The above description is provided only as an overview and is not intended to be sufficient instruction for attempting the process.