Monday, November 14, 2011

Patina Experiments

Hello dear readers,

You all know by now, that I am developing a bit of an obsession with copper.

I think it is a natural progression to want to start playing with the effects that copper can give - particularly the 'patina'.

Actually, the meaning of 'patina' is really something that results from usage or corrosion over time, usually a greenish layer (basic copper sulphate) that forms on copper or bronze. So, technically, some of the patinas I am about to show you are more of a chemical reaction than a patina ... but none the less, they look great ... so please come and take a look.

Copper dipped in vinegar, sprinkled with course salt and sat on a bed of paper towel wet with cloudy ammonia. Left, covered, for 24 hours.

As above, (no vinegar) but suspended in a coffee can on a wire above a 1/4 cup of liquid ammonia - result shown after 24 hours.

As above, after 48 hours.

Colored effect after heating with a soft torch. Do a section at a time. When you see the color emerge, dip it in cold water and then move on to another section until you get the result you want.

The copper was covered with flux on both sides and then heated to a dark red glow on each side.
Immerse in water and repeat.   The photo shows the result after two coatings.

The reverse side. I may have over heated this piece as I do not think it is really meant to go as black as this.

The copper was coated with a thin smear of Gilder's Paste, Patina.

Color using Liver of Sulphur.
 Top row: L- rich brown, R- some "oil" type effect.
Bottom row: L- Dark grey, almost black. R- Dark coloration left in an imprint after removing some patina  with fine steel wool. 

As you can see, I have had a bit of fun with this. If you try it yourself, just make sure the lids on those containers seal well ... the ammonia is very strong .... have good ventilation or go outside when opening the container/tin. 

As you can see the patina effect on the first 6 photos is a little crusty ... I will need to lightly brush it off a little more and then seal it with a spray for it to be usable in jewellery
See also Patina Experiments no. 2 for a different batch of patina colours .

That's it for today, folks,

have a good day,



TesoriTrovati said...

Super fun! I have tried it with very salty potato chips as well. The O'Brien's have a great book that is all about experiments with metal. I would love to play more, but my time is usually so limited. I love those bright blues and the watercolor of the heat the most. Great stuff! Let's see what you do with this, now, Miss Jenni!
Enjoy the day!

Lesley said...

I love playing with copper Jenni and you got some great results - those blues are gorgeous. But I have to say, I love the over-cooked one so it's a success in my eyes.

Christine said...

The blues & the soft torch are so pretty. I just found a book with lots of interesting patina recipes - I can't wait to try salt & vinegar chips. Thanks for showing your results! What kind of spray do you use-matte/gloss?

CraftyHope said...

Wow! I had no idea copper would turn a shade of blue like that with just some vinegar and/or ammonia. Well done!

Therese's Treasures said...

Beautiful effects Jenni, Love the blue ones and the rainbow effect.

lisa said...

I never realized that copper could be so beautiful Jenni!
I think the first one is absolutely gorgeous, and what beautiful jewelry this will make.

My Life Under the Bus said...

Beautiful I love to see all the different patinas - The blue is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Jenni, all of the experiments look like a success!! I think my favorite is the blue patina from the ammonia! Thank you for sharing!

Kathleen said...

Fascinating, Jenni! I love the textures you achieved with your experiments. I can see how this would be a wonderful skill to have!

Georgie Field said...

Jenni! How funny! These are marvelous. Please bring to meeting, I will bring mine and we can compare colours!

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I have never worked with copper. These are amazing!

Alice said...

What a fun experiment! I love the crusty copper pieces in the first few photos.

What brand of spray protectant do you use? When I stand in the aisle at Michaels there are so many to choose from and my head starts spinning--and I leave with nothing.

Have a wonderful weekend!


thnak you for your tips, I'm trying to obtain different colors of copper patina, I find your post very interesting!
ciao dall'Italia


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