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Sunday, February 15, 2015


Laura Bracken: I'll start things off by sharing a blog post I wrote a few years ago on the subject.

Barbara Swinton: Love your experiments. Looking forward to this month. I've only used LOS and some bottled patina for copper, brass, bronze. From me few results and after reading your blog piece, I have a new respect for pre-cleaning. To date I've just used dawn and a toothbrush. Sometimes that works...except when it doesn't!

Laura Bracken: LOS is my "go to" patina for 99.9% of everything. But it is fun to experiment with other things once in a while.

Barbara Swinton: Is swellegent considered a patina? I remember Carol Evans showed us some pieces with that and I thought the effect with copper was nice.

Laura Bracken: Barbara, you bring up a good point. I, personally, don't think of coating colors as patinas but it's a gray area. Perhaps there is no real line between coloring metal with something like paint or color pencils versus coloring metal by liver of sulfur or oxidation. [ETA: I have since learned that there are Swellegent coatings and and Swellegent patinas].

Laura Bracken: On another note, here's a fun Pinterest board.

Nohline L'Ecuyer: I just got a new patina. It is by Fischer, German, and is called Oxidbeize Gosiba. It apparently makes a really dark black on silver and does not patina gold. So I am going to try it on some keum boo this weekend.

Tammy Adams: From my research, the Swellegant patinas are chemical patinas similar to LOS, not a paint. They achieve the effect via a reaction that develops over time, and you can stop the reaction at any point in the process, same as with LOS. Also, they reportedly work differently on different metals. They also have dye oxides to enhance the patinas, or use on their own.

Tammy Adams: For this month's challenge designs, Laura Bracken, are we limited to chemical patinas? Are heat patina effects included? Faux patina using pigments?

Laura Bracken: I say any patinas.

Carol Evans: Swellegant makes a line of metal patinas and they do react with what ever metal you are using. These are not coatings or paint. I really like them. Easy to use and good results each time.

Tammy Adams: Just re-read your article, Laura. The caution about not adding water to acid reminded me of the mnemonic I learned in high school chemistry: do what you otter, add acid to water.

Carol Evans: I love to create patinas on my metals. I feel like a mad scientist . I rarely use measurements or "recipes".... Usually just wing it. One day you will hear a loud bang and see lots of smoke coming from my laboratory... I mean work table . May not have eyebrows but I will have created a hell of a patina on my piece.

Diana Brandt: Do you consider alcohol inks a paint or patina? I bought a bunch over the summer and played around with them. I wasn't really impressed with their effects and durability. Maybe I didn't do it right.

Laura Bracken: Diana, I've decided not to try to define patina (for myself and/or for the monthly challenge). BTW, here's something I made in welding class using alcohol inks and steel.

Diana Brandt: Nice Laura. Did you heat treat it? I've read that you are supposed to "set" it by heat treating it. But I really don't want to put this stuff in my oven.

Laura Bracken: I did not. I did spray it with fixative, but I probably didn't need to.

Tammy Adams: I've put alcohol inks in my oven on many occasions with no ill effects, Diana. I use it frequently with polymer clay. Never noticed an odor, etc. They're just pigment in an alcohol carrier. You can also heat set with a heat gun, if you want to speed up the drying process.

Laura Bracken: How many of you have tried any of the SculptNouveau patinas?

Laura Bracken: Who's done the salt and vinegar patina? If so, how many days did you wait? (JewelryMakingJournal photo... see link for article)

Donna Warriner: I did the fuming with salt and vinegar and I believe it was a total of 2 days. I spritzed every few hours with sea salt and water. I've tried so many -I have lost track. Lol I buried in corn cob, fumed, and with ammonia and vinegar

Laura Bracken: Sounds like fun, Donna! Do you have any photos you could post here to show us the results?

Marica Zammit: I've only used Swellegant so far. Love it. I now want to try torch patina and also salt & vinegar. I've also heard great things about Sculpt Nouveau. I could patina all day if I could lol

Tammy Adams: I love the look of the salt and vinegar potato chip patinas. But it seems like an awful waste of tasty potato chips.

Marica Zammit: Oh and I use Gilders Paste a lot but I don't think that's considered as a patina?

Laura Bracken: Marica, that's great to hear about Swellegant. I'd love to see you post some of your guilder's paste work in this thread. I have some but haven't used it well yet.

Ann Sanicola: I use many of the Sculpt Nouveau patinas. Love them!

Kim Forrer: Laura I did the salt and vinegar thing. Posted info yesterday in our FB page.

Kim Lyons: Does anyone know if extreme temps will affect the result or timing? We are headed for single digits, but I would love to try this weekend and will have to have it outside. Specifically the ammonia recipe

Laura Bracken: Kim, that's a good question. I couldn't find any info on it so you'll have to let us know how it turns out.

Carol Evans: These are a pair of brass earrings. I first heat treated, sanded off areas, coated with the swellegant darkening patina, then the swellegant gold verdigree patina. Let dry, then used a bit of patina gilders paste and finally sealed with ren wax. Love the finish.

Carol Evans: Here is another pair of earrings made using swellegant. All sealed with ren wax.

Laura Bracken: Lovely work guys! Carol, other than for earrings, do you advise your customers that ren wax will eventually wear off (necklace pendants, bracelets, and rings)?

Carol Evans: Yes. I state it will wear and should be reapplied every so often to keep patina and sheen. If not.... Metals will naturally patina with age.

Laura Bracken: Thanks Carol. I always wonder about that stuff. Rain, that's great to hear. Got any photos? I'd love to see the results. I think I even have some that I haven't tried yet.

Rain Hannah: I've tried the Sculpt Nouveau green patina, traditional verdigris. Liked the results very much on both copper and bronze. It blooms nicely!

Tammy Adams: I don't have any awesome photos to share of "real" patina because I haven't done much with the chemical stuff. Yet. But last year I used Iced Enamels with resin to grunge up a key and some washers for our "Road Warrior/Post Apocalyptic" challenge.

Laura Bracken: What a cool technique, Tammy!

Rain Hannah: MsFickleMedia on Etsy repackages Sculpt Nouveau patinas - trad, and dye oxide - and wrote up a pretty clear, easy to follow "how to" about using them. I have it and it's been pretty useful.

Mary Rembach: Sorry if this has been covered, I haven't read everything yet, I just finished a copper necklace. I used LOS on it. I use a pro polish pad to remove what I want from it, but how can I tumble it without removing all of the patina? And, what prevents the patina from getting on customer's skin, clothes, etc.? It seems awfully easy to wipe away. Am I doing something wrong? Skipping a step? I do submerse it in baking soda and water as a last step. Oh, and how can you get Ren wax on and then off all of the grooves in a wire necklace? I guess I have 3 questions here.

Laura Bracken: You would pull it out of the tumbler every so often until it's what you want. If patina is poorly applied it can indeed get on customers clothing. When you dunk in LOS, do you do a quick dunk, then rinse, then a little longer dunk, then rinse, then longer dunk, etc?

Mary Rembach: Aha - I have not done that, because it turns black so fast. Maybe I need to use cooler water and keep repeating. Do you use separate shot your copper?

Laura Bracken: Never let your piece turn black fast... that is a coating, not a patina. As for tumbling, I have separate shot and separate barrel for base metals and for silver.

Mary Rembach: Oh boy!! - does anyone have a link they recommend for reading the proper way to patina using LOS?

Laura Bracken: Mary, click here.

Barbara Swinton: If I'm tumbling to work harden or clean/shine, I do it before LOS....then when I get the right color from my LOS, I am currently sealing with renwax, but Mary, I've never used wax on a chain necklace. I do have a lacquer product (bottle) from Rio, that I dip chain into to preserve patina color...that would work better than ren wax.

Barbara Swinton: Laura, I have put base metals and silver in the same shot...forever...no patina....is that bad? If so, what's the scoop?

Laura Bracken: Barbara, I also used to use one tumbler for everything. I don't think it's a big deal at all. I just prefer to keep them separate when possible... in case.

Mary Rembach: Laura and Barbara - I wonder how I got this patina - I think I always use the same process - but this one is an even deeper brown than the picture shows - I just fly by the "seat of my pants" mostly. This was deepest brown I ever got. Just copper wire in LOS.

Laura Bracken: I just added LOS to one my chainmaille bracelets too this week!

Kim Forrer: Laura what pattern is that one? I want to attempt a chainmaille bracelet for myself. I like that pattern. Not sure my eyes can stand it though. Probably take me a year......

Laura Bracken: Byzantine... but those are tiny... I don't advise using small jumprings. Took me several bracelets before I got the hand of it.

Mary Rembach: If it's your first attempt at Byzantine - use 16 ga. 4.5mm rings. Laura's is probably 18 ga. 3.5mm. The larger rings make it easier.

Barbara Swinton: Mary, your sizes are ring ID, right? Byzantine is my favorite weave:)

Mary Rembach: Yes Barbara - ID. There's a chainmaille group on here I recently joined and they use imperial measurements instead of metric. I learned chainmaille using metric measurements and it drives me crazy trying to convert their measurements. I always have to refer to a chart.

Barbara Swinton: Do you make new LOS each time? I have a can of pieces which I think will last me the rest of my life but to keep creations from turning black quickly (that happens to me sometimes...not always) do you just add a spec of LOS. I never measure anything...just chip off a piece and add about 1/2 cup water and microwave for about 10 secs....maybe I Should measure to be more consistent in my results....what do you do??

Laura Bracken: I don't use the chunks anymore. I use the one shown in the topic photo. So yeah, I make it up fresh each time (I only use a couple drops of the stuff at each sitting). I don't measure. But I don't measure when I cook either, so that's probably just a personality thing.

Mary Rembach: I use the liquid LOS I also got from Cool Tools and use just a drop or two.

Tammy Adams: I love the colors of rusted, weathered, oxidized metals. And I hate polishing jewelry. So patinas are right up my alley. I have learned so much in the past year from this group, including the fact that patinas can wear off if not sealed. Definitely a "good to know" thing.

Nohline L'Ecuyer: I just found this on Pinterest, but the link doesn't give any recipes.

Marica Zammit: Sorry for not getting back to you sooner Laura. Crazy busy right now. Here are some pieces I'm working on where I used gilders paste. They were all raw brass before I started playing with them.

Laura Bracken: Cool, Marica! Thanks for posting!

Kim Forrer: Also didn't see anyone mention this but LOS in chunk form will go bad if exposed to too much heat orw freezing temps, which is why . switched to gel when it came out,

Laura Bracken: And never get it near moisture... ever!

Barbara Swinton: Laura, is there just one entry/person for the challenges? Any room for multiple pieces in one photo?

Laura Bracken: You may enter as many per month as you like so long as they fit the theme. Personally, I think more than 3-4 is overkill, but I'm not being a stickler. If you want to show more than one view of an item (or multiple items) by creating an image collage, that's up to you, but I resize all photos to 800 pixels on the longest edge so keep that in mind.

[Anything posted after the end of that week will remain in Facebook and won’t be transcribed here.]

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