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!