Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bronze and Copper Patinas

My etsy post is going to be delayed until tomorrow - last night when I 'should' have been working on the etsy post - I got a little distracted doing heat patinas on my copper and bronze pieces. I'll share my technique - however, I'm not an expert by any stretch. So, if anyone else wants to pipe in with other suggestions - feel free!

The first three pics are heat patina's on Bronze clay. I'm really quite enamored with the whole feel of these base metal clays. It lends itself perfectly to that ancient, dug up out of the ground look. Might not be for everyone - but I LOVE them! The colours are muted and metallic. Really, really beautiful. These would go so well with boro lampwork, or old looking ivories and turquoise. The possibilities here are endless. Can you tell I'm just a little excited?

The next few pics are all of copper with a heat patina. The first pic are some blanks I made for collage pendants. Forget the glass and scrabble tiles!

I honestly can't decide which one I like better. I'm normally a copper gal, but I have to admit to being quite in love with the finish on the bronze ....

Now that you can see the pics - I'll describe for you how I do this.

I use a butane torch (microtorch, blazer either will work fine. I first put down a soldering block on my workbench, and then a charcoal block on top of that. I lay out a few pieces on the charcoal, and then turn on my torch. I first wave the flame across the top of the pieces for a minute, and then I start to heat the charcoal - very close, but not actually touching the items. I find I get a much better colours that way. I find that you can't actually see the colours developing, so stop for a few minutes and then go back and have a look. If you're not happy heat them up again.

Here is an example of my block - And the clutter in the back? Don't do that! Keep your work area clear and neat. Had I set my house on fire, I would have surely been a darwin award candidate.


dragonjools said...

Very cool! How permanent are they - will they wear off?

And how about "chemical" patinas - have you tried any of those - like the "hanging suspending over a dish of vinegar for a few days" trick.

jen said...

The patina will continue to develop and change over time - I won't wear off, but it will change. You can spray a varnish on it to keep those particular colours.

I haven't yet tried the chemical ones. I've been hoping to avoid the use of them in the house - my studio is now shared with Maya who wants to make earrings every night :-)

I will most likely try it out at some point - you know me :-)

Check out Hadars blog I recall seeing some tests of chemical patinas on her blog somewhere.