Monday, July 13, 2009

Bronze Metal Clay Journey: Patina, Polish, Black Fingernails and Bronze Charm Giveaway!

I've finally gotten to the patina stage and used the awesome new Patina Gel from Cool Tools. Before using any chemical, I always check to see how to dispose of it. These days, I'm concerned about the impact on the environment. The Patina Gel is "eco-friendly" that is, easy to dispose of. If you leave it on your bench until it become white, it becomes a commonly used fertilizer for your garden! Love it when the chemicals you use in your studio are not harmful to the environment.

Back to the process of patina-ing. Before I could dip the bronze charms into the patina solution, I had to rid them of any oils and fingerprints. So, the biggest pain was cleaning each small piece with a toothbrush. Remember I said these were charms and every piece is pretty small, about 12mm. A baby sized toothbrush is about 25mm so you can get the piece lost in the brush making it difficult to clean. I needed a smaller brush but didn't have one.

After I scrubbed each piece, I strung it on a piece of wire so I could lay the pieces all at once in the patina solution. I followed the directions on how to use the Patina Gel on the Cool Tools website and made just enough solution to cover the charms.

I left them in just long enough to get a chocolate brown patina. Polished each one with a micro mesh sanding pad. I picked up wth micro mesh locally at a woodworkers store. It was the same place I picked up Renaissance Wax. I used Renaissance Wax as a final polish to seal the patina.

I love the way the pendant below came out. The patina on it is really nice - just what I was looking for. This pendant is a "salvaged" piece. When it was in the leather hard stage, the corner broke while sanding. I thought it looked like an old artifact one would find on an archeological dig so I sanded the edges to make it look more worn and went with it. I like how it turned out. Pretty good for a first go.

Here are a couple of the small (12mm) charms. I like this little rose, I think it will make a nice little addition to a bracelet or a pair of earrings or even hanging from the end of a pendant.

I wanted to show you how I worked with the bronze metal clay from beginning to end. The very end - to the final polish. I have to work on improving parts of the process but I'm satisfied how this first complete run went.

Here's an important tip I learned the hard way - Remember to coat your hands with olive oil or Gloves in a Bottle before you start to sand off the patina to highlight the relief in your piece. I have black fingernails and cuticles from forgetting to do it!

So, I'm going to take my black fingernails off the keyboard and go to my studio but before I go for today, tell me how you liked the series on bronze clay and or how you think the pieces turned out.

I'll select a random comment from today's comments to receive one (1) of the bronze rose flower charms. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Look forward to your comments. I'm off to try to clean my black fingernails now!


Katie said...

I love how your pieces turned out! Thanks for showing us the blow by blow as you tried something new :o) The pendant also reminds me of something that would be perfect for the holidays - very Bethlehem-y (making up words again...). What a multi-talented person you are :o)

TesoriTrovati said...

I am so very intrigued by the process and the product. I really appreciate you sharing the good with the bad! But there is no ugly here! They are all wonderful and I love the rustic look like an artifact that was unearthed. These are all true treasures. Thanks for sharing your inspiration today.
Enjoy the day!

Just A Tish said...

i am in love with these - in LOVE.
here is the tuff question. I have to know - will you be selling these and if so, WHERE!!!

Rosanne said...

Thanks for sharing the patina info.
We (Heather and I) foundout this weekend how dirty your hands and nails can get. I use Gloves in a Bottle on a regular basis anyway, I didn't realize that it would keep the grime out. Bronze clay is interesting and your creations are beautiful.

Gail said...

Cindy,they are beautiful!these more affordable copper and bronze clays' are awesome.I don't have a kiln,but I'm going to look for a small one or a good used one.I'm in middle of divorce,soo it'll have to wait.I read your blog and watch you work and you do amazing things,so pretty.I'm grateful to you so I can watch.Beautiful,Cindy.

Deb said...

Cindy - your pieces have turned out beautifully!
I love the salvaged piece - & no one would ever know it was a 'salvage' if you hadn't said so!

I've been following Laura's & now your progress for quite some time - trying to build up the courage to play with one of the packs that I've had sitting here since late last year. I'm such a scaredy!

Lisa Crone said...

Nice! Do you offer vacations at your house! That would be so much fun!! :)

rosebud101 said...

Cindy, I liked the series of working with bronze clay from start to finish. I liked hearing about your frustrations and your successes! This was a good series, and I feel I learned a lot.

Wendy said...

These are amazing. I love them.

Cindy said...

Your new bronze clay pieces are beautiful. Thank you for doing all of the research for us. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have heard of Patina Gel, Renaissance Wax or Liquid Gloves...great links and very informative! :-)

Connie said...

very cool!...your pieces turned out wonderful! i have to try the gel looks so much easier than what i am using now!

Shai Williams said...

I just wanted to pop in to say how much I love the pendant. It will make a unique necklace.

Miss Violet said...

Found your post via earthenwood's link, and I can't wait to get my hands on some of the bronze metal clay AND the LoS gel! I've worked with PMC and the old-fashioned chunk LoS before, but this looks like a lot more fun, less hassle, and your pieces came out beautifully!

Anonymous said...

I love hearing about new products like this that are kind to the environment and also easy for us to use. Where will I be able to buy it, and, oh yeah, I LOVE the charms.

Deb Cox said...

Cindy = thanks so much for sharing the process with us. I am excited to try this as well!