Applying Renaissance Wax as a final finish on pieces with patina is how I spent part of a sunny afternoon on the back porch. It was so nice to hear all the birds singing, especially the cardinals and song sparrows, and it was pleasantly promising to feel 60 degree air again. It was also a relief to work outside since the smell of this wax is not one of my favorites. Fortunately the smell is gone after it hardens. It’s not that bad, but I’m sensitive to it. As long as I was outside, I took the time to apply Butcher’s Wax as a final finish to a batch of beach rocks I drilled earlier in the week. Butcher’s smells a little better, but still it was a nice change to keep that outside, too.
So, I did lots of hand finishing this afternoon, which is a good thing for 2 reasons. The first is that I now have a bunch of new components to work with in the studio tomorrow, and the second is that I procrastinated all day from writing my “Cranberry Report” for the Working Waterfront, and completing a variety of components made me feel like I had done something productive. I might stay up late to finish the column tonight, so I don’t have a repeat of procrastination tomorrow. Ugh. I always do this when I have to write. I had hoped that keeping up with a daily post on the blog would be helpful to writing my column in a more timely manner. But…not yet. Not this month, anyway. Tomorrow is my deadline, but I usually stretch the day of the deadline out until 5 p.m. I don’t know why I do it, but I know I can get away with it.
My first foray into the world of patina (excluding the use of liver of sulphur on silver, and a few times using Baldwin’s Patina on some copper/bronze clay pieces) went pretty well. I started with the verdigris because it is a cold patina and it seemed like the simplest place to start.
Copper and brass components with patina applied on left. Original finish on right. Photo taken before any sealant or wax have been applied.
Brass leaves before and after patina has been applied. Still no sealant or wax.
An example of why pieces must be solid copper, and not just copper plated. The patina reacts with the steel under the copper plate and cause rust rather than the nice green patina. The pieces on the right look so innocently like copper…
I tried a coat of sealant and wax just to learn about the process, but I’m not sure if I will find much use for “rusted propellors.” I’ll set them aside to see what they do.
Here’s the whole batch, after applying sealant and wax. Each step requires a 24 hour curing period.
My favorite pieces this time are the copper leaves I filed down and stamped, to give them a little personality before I colored them with patina. These will become earrings just as they are, or with some extra silver components.
The patina learning curve has begun.