Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Witches Brew Patina

by Izzy Winterhart

So, while Staci was out playing at the beach letting Mother Nature kiss her sweet necklace with a bit of color, I was the mad scientist down in my dark dungeon creating my witches brew patina.  I've been anxious to try some new patina's as I've gotten just a bit bored with my liver of sulfur.  Here are my discoveries so far.

This first patina was done with saw dust (which I had plenty of with our deck build) and vinegar.  I  mixed in enough vinegar to moisten the saw dust and put the concoction in a plastic container.  I then buried the earrings in the saw dust, covered the container and let it sit for a few days.  It looks a bit like cork, doesn't it?  Notice the tiny black specks?  I LOVE this patina. (One of these might, just maybe, could be in an upcoming giveaway...)

While those beauties were brewing, I started another experiment.  This time it was ammonia and salt.  I placed ammonia in the bottom of a container and suspended these pieces above the ammonia.  I then sprinkled salt on the pieces and put the cover on the container.  I also let these sit for a few days. 

This piece has some amazing blue tints.

This piece only spotted with a bit of blue, perhaps not enough salt, but I still like it.
This one, well, I just didn't like how the blue turned out so I rinsed it off thinking I'd throw it in the pickle pot and start over.  After rinsing however, I was mesmerized by the black patina created.  It looks as though it's been sitting in a treasure chest at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years.  LOVE.
And then there is the trusty ole liver of sulfur.  I will always love this patina and even though I'm trying new things I'll never desert my first.
Now...  this one was a complete Izzy experiment.  I didn't see this brew in any book, just made it up.  It's saw dust, salt and vinegar.  Done the same as the first on in this post except I added salt.  I just dug it out of the saw dust so I could share it here.  I'll have to see it all cleaned up but I think the bright orange and green will look amazing with this black stone.  I'm very excited to see it finished.
The two books I found these recipes and more were Metal Craft Discovery Workshop by Linda & Ope O'Brien and Mixed Metal Mania by Kim St. Jean.

I will tell you that if you are a perfectionists, uhm, well, this process isn't for you.  If, however, you LOVE surprises then you should try one or more patina techniques found in those books.  Pieces always come out differently.  No piece will be the same and that's the beauty of discovery.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless 
he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
~Andre Gide


MaCarroll Beads said...

I LOVE those and can't wait to see what happens with the last one. Also..... I'm pretty much married to experimenting ;o) I like the old dependables too, but love to try new things just to see what happens. Here's a funny story. When I was young (maybe 10) my friend and I made up a concoction that would make your skin softer. We then put it in pill bottles (back before they were child proof) and went door to door selling them. Of course, during a time that selling door to door was okay. One kind neighber said that he really couldn't use it, but would give us the 25 cents or whatever we were charging. Good thing! The morning after all of the brown pill bottles had the lids blown off of them! So.... I try to play it a little safer today ;o) Could you tell us how you shine them up?

SummersStudio said...

Amazing the results you can get from household chemicals. These are quite lovely pieces. Thank you so much for sharing your techniques!

stacilouise said...

awesome! They turned out great! I have done the salt and amonia one before. It really gives all kinds of wonderful results. I like the blues and the blacks of it. I just HATE the amonia smell. But I think you have inspired me to try it again:)

Alice said...

Wow, these are amazing! You are like a little chemist here. I'd love to try my hand at this--it looks like fun!

Thanks for sharing.

mairedodd said...

these look great - and i love the sawdust concoction at the top!

Patty said...

Beautiful results, Izzy!

D'Arsie Manzella said...

Very nice! I would love to see the last piece cleaned up. It looks ancient as it is! Thanks for sharing these fun experiments~

Melinda Orr said...

Oh so fun! Love the results....I'm in love with the sapphire of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

Oh, That is SO amazing!!!
I think I could let go of my OCD for these kinds of metal ooak pieces!

Thanks for sharing - now to add a couple more books to my collection ;)

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