Treating base metal pieces with solutions to develop patinas on the surface is how I spent a good part of my time over the weekend. I started by cleaning the pieces to make sure there was no grease on the surface.
I melted the ends of silver wire and copper wire to use as head pins for earrings. Later I would I hammer the copper wire to get a flat round surface which I would then color with a patina. But first, I cleaned the head pins by throwing them in a rotary tumbler with a little water, soap, and steel shot, to make sure they were ready to receive the patina. Goodness gracious…
I use patina solutions from Shannon LeVart of Miss Ficklemedia. After buying Shannon’s pieces for a couple of years, I decided to buy her tutorial and some supplies to try it myself. Her instructions are excellent. So is her work. Definitely check out her Etsy site.
We had temperatures in the high 50’s today and it was sunny. The patinas had developed for more than a day so the timing was perfect for taking the batches of patin-ted pieces outside to spray with Permalac to seal the colors.
The pieces I am most excited about are the beads I made myself from copper and bronze metal clay. The patinated background with raised designs came out just as I hoped. I especially like the russet red.
Tomorrow I’ll apply a layer of preservation wax over the lacquer and then hand buff each piece. After that the beads will be safe to wear against clothing and skin, and it will be time to make some jewelry. Sometimes I think about just making and selling beads. No matter what material I’m working with, I usually end up thinking about making beads with it. Barb the bead maker. Yeah…. Meanwhile I have plans for all of those brass paddle-shaped pieces in the first photograph. I didn’t make them, but I patina-ted them and they will end up starring in a great pair of earrings. That’s a story for another time.
Happiness is a handful of handmade head pins!