Patina procrastination no more!

I put off working with patinas all summer until yesterday. I started out with the cold application of verdigris to get the wonderful greenish turquoise on copper and brass. The I got out my little butane torch and worked with some of the heat actived patinas for the first time. All done with the handy non-toxic water-based patina solutions and excellent instructions from Shannon and Mike at Miss Ficklemedia. I love their work, and have enjoyed purchasing and using patina-ted components from their Etsy shop so much that I wanted to try the patina process myself.

I bought many of the copper and brass elements from The Beadin’ Path, and then altered them by hammering in texture, drilling holes, and filing.


The cold applied patinas are so simple. Just dip and wait for the color to develop.

The pieces on the left are the ones I did at the beginning of the day. On the right, are pieces dipped in verdigris at the end of the day. In a few hours the color developed quite nicely.

It was so different working with the heat applied patinas. I wasn’t sure how I liked it. It seemed that copper was much easier and prettier to work with, at first. The beads below were patinated with a mixture of Persian Indigo and Old Lace White.

One of the reasons I put off working with patinas for so long is that there is no instant gratification in working with them. Does that make sense? What I mean is that these photos represent just the first step. The patinas take about 24 hours to fully develop on the metal. Then I will sand back some of the color, in places, to reveal bits of the underlying copper or brass. After sanding, I will apply 2 coats of lacquer which will then need another 24 hours to cure. The last step is to apply a coat of preservation wax to seal the lacquer. Fussy handwork done piece by piece, rubbing the wax in, letting it set for an hour or two, and then buffing it to a soft shine with cheesecloth. But then, I will have some very unique pieces to combine with bits of silver for earrings and necklace parts.

When I tried the Russet Red patina on these brass leaves, I wasn’t sure I liked the color. So, I only patinated one set in that color. I forgot, the color develops over time on the metal. I am really happy with the results. Just in time for some fall fashion earrings!


These may not look so exciting right now, but after the next two steps, they will have a soft sheen.

With patination in my box of creative tricks, I look forward to combining it with my love of working with metal clay. These funky headpins are made from copper metal clay fired on bronze, then treated with a verdigris patina. I can’t wait to see how they evolve into a pair of earrings.





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14 responses to “Patina procrastination no more!

  1. LeAnn

    Beautiful! I haven’t used any patinas for a long time for similar reasons. No instant gratification. These pieces combine really nicely with your silver pieces. Love your funky head pins!


  2. Way cool Barb! Someday I’m gonna get mine out and try them too!


  3. Barb Fernald

    Susan and LeAnn,
    You guys are great. At the end of the day yesterday I thought, “What was I waiting for?”
    xo B


  4. holly k

    Lovely, but I know I’ll never patina with anything other than los….not sure why I’m so uncomfortable with color…maia says I’m “goth, with a little purple and green thrown in”…..


  5. Barb – I love this blog on patinas! Plus – I love keeping track of you. I do a lot of patinas but I only use the salt and ammonia technique. No immediate gratification there either but I look at it like Christmas morning. I place the pieces on stones in a container, fill with ammonia just below pieces and sprinkle salt and water. Seal the container and leave overnight. Next morning – presto! Fun. You can see some of my patina pieces at:

    I want to try the water-based patinas you are using. I love the colors. Thanks for sharing all the info.

    I miss you!!!! Call me when you go to the Beadin Path. – 615-4177.


    • Barb Fernald

      I have always loved your patinas, Trish. All your fearless experiments. It was fun to try these dye oxide colors. Pretty easy. Maybe we’ll meet up in Brunswick sometime to talk patinas. Meanwhile, on the island, we have Robin and his fiancee getting married here in less than three weeks!
      Busy much?


  6. Jonatha

    Love these! What’s better than color that changes over time?! Thinking of last year and missing you.


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks Zsash. Yeah, last year was fun. I miss you too. How are you doing with Kat away? Half empty nest and all….
      It was fun to try something new. We’ll see where it goes.


  7. I am loving all the colors! Especially the purples!


    • Barb Fernald

      Trying to make friends with the purples. I want to try more colors, but first I’ll apply the Permalac then Renaissance wax to this batch to see how they turn out. Stay tuned!


  8. Love your patinas, Barb! The colors are so beautiful! Must be exciting to see such lovely results!


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