By Staci L. Smith
I don’t know about you, but I am a real stickler about making sure the jewelry I make is good quality. I give a guarantee, and if, for some reason, it breaks, or they are unhappy, I will fix or replace it. Now, I don't mind doing that at all, because I want people to be happy, but I don’t really want to be fixing stuff all the time either. Mostly, I don’t want my customers to be without their jewelry.
In order to avoid this, I test it. When I create a new design, I make sure to wear it around the house, carrying diaper bags, and groceries. Cleaning, playing, ect….. Only then do I feel confident enough that my design can be worn and worn and worn, with no worries.
Since I have been working in copper, I have been agonizing about how it wears over a long time. I use patinas on my copper and bronze, and seal them. I tell my customers NOT to wear them in the ocean, or pool in order to protect the color.
So, last Friday, we went to Long Beach Island for a day trip, and I decided to see what would happen if I wore one of my necklaces to the beach.
I picked this one. It has some copper loops with a verdigris patina on them, sealed with permalac and wax. It also has a copper bezel that is only waxed lightly.
I did not go into the water completely, but I did play in the surf with the kids.
(Oh, it was such a nice day for it too! Lots of stuff on the beach to salvage as well!)
On the way home, after a 12 hour day trip, I took off my necklace and looked at it. “OOoooooo…………..What is this?” There, on my lightly waxed copper, was verdigris beginning to develop. It had patterns, as if it were splashed on. Splashed……………like from water..........from the salt water!!!!! (and yes, my mind was a tad slow to put this together. I try not to think too much after a day in the sun)
So I did what anyone would have done, and Googled “patina by salt water” from my phone. Guess what? It works. It’s and it’s all natural. I am totally trying this, and hope that when I do it on purpose, it looks as cool as when the ocean did it by accident.
So this week I plan to Google more ways to naturally patina my metal. I am always trying to keep my studio as green as possible. I also may buy Tim McCreights DVD on patina.
I hear he tells you all about using household products to color your metal surfaces.
WOW! I just love when something like this happens. I really wanted to find out if my patina would hold up with the salt water (and it did, though I still don’t recommend wearing it in the ocean), but I found out something new and exciting too.
So, share with me……..have you had any happy accidents? Discovered something totally different then you set out to?