Playing with Patina

I finally got some Baldwin’s Patina to try on my pieces of mixed bronze and copper clay. I learned about it from Hadar’s blog, and was happy to see that Rio Grande carried it. It makes quite a difference. The copper turns to a rich color that contrasts better with the bronze. I wish it did not color the bronze at all, but it does, slightly.

The piece on the left has been oxidized with Baldwin’s Patina. 



To try another patina, I took the untreated piece on the right and suspended it in a sealable container over a shallow layer of ammonia with a little vinegar added. I then sprinkled the piece with salt. I left it covered for about 6 hours. Love the color! There seemed to be no difference in how it colored the bronze or copper. I will definitely try this again, in a more controlled way.  (I wonder if there could be any kind of “resist” used to control where the blue color goes.) I also applied Renaissance Wax to this to see if it affected the color. It didn’t seem to change it much. Below is the piece, with the Renaissance Wax applied.


Next, I took another piece and tried a mixture of oatmeal, cranberry, and chocolate, and applied heat for about 10 minutes. 



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4 responses to “Playing with Patina

  1. holly

    you totally got me with the last one! the way i read your blog is read/scroll/look/read/scroll/look…i couldn’t WAIT to see what that last patina was going to do! (did i mention i was a bit distracted in a room full of ninth graders?!) i may be a dummy, but how did you get salt to stick to a suspended piece? that blue color is gorgeous…. so sorry you had such a stinker of a day the day before!


  2. fernald244

    It does have me thinking about using oatmeal and ammonia….Or wondering how tea leaves would work….
    I had seen the solution in a book about patinas. (The Jeweler’s Directory of decorative Finishes by Jinks McGrath) Then, when Fritz’s girlfriend, Meg, was here, she mentioned having tried it in a jewelry class. She made a little wire form to hold the piece flat above the ammonia/vinegar mix. So I just used some brass wire to make a nest and placed the piece flat on top. It was above the ammonia. I sprinkled Kosher salt on top and put the lid on. It totally worked. I’m psyched to try it again on just bronze.
    The day before might have been frustrating, but I took the blue patina photo that night in the kitchen. Then I looked over at the rack of cookies that were cooling, and I cracked myself up!
    Still no luck coming up with a random $1,000 for the conference in Chicago…..Looks like Purdue in 2010 for me.


  3. holly

    me too…i’m working on finding kid-care for a day or too so i can maybe still come work with you a couple of days….if the summer hasn’t filled up for you yet!


  4. ha ha!! You are too funny Barb. My reaction to the cookie wasn’t far off from my reaction to your other pieces: oooooh, mmmmm!


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