As promised, I did a little comparison of patinated (with liver of sulfur) hardware store wire and shiny craft store wire from the hobby shop. The idea was to make a frame for my copper heart which, if you remember, looked like this.
While I kinda like the down-and-dirty, irregular wire on the left, just winding that 24 gauge stuff around a mandrel blackened my fingers and made me wonder about wearing something like this on a hot, sweaty day. The brown craft wire version on the right is pretty sweet; I like that the wire is perfectly round and I can see why 26 gauge wire is a common choice for wrapping/weaving projects. And while I chose to go with the craft wire version, I’m still meh on the whole project idea, which I may not finish after all.
I feel like there’s just too much going on here. All the parts are shiny, nothing stands out, and the red wire I used for stitching the two halves looks like an afterthought (I’d like to do it again, forming the ends more gracefully, but I’m out of this wire and am not crazy about any other options in my toolbox.) So . . . let’s just put that back on the shelf for now.
The good news, for the rejected frame, is that I bought some automotive enamel yesterday, some clear glossy stuff made by Rustoleum. I sprayed the frame and a few test pieces, including the ammonia-made blue copper I did some months ago. The results were promising, and much better than the matte Krylon I tried before. It did dull the color on my salt-and-vinegar piece (which wasn’t so great to begin with), but that’s to be expected. I should also mention that Renaissance Wax dulled the blues in that fold-formed leaf I posted about the other day. There isn’t anything better that I know of–please let me know if you do.
And while I was at the hardware store (Harbor Freight) I finally bought a doming set (dapping block and punches). I’m very excited about being able to do this at home, because it’ll make it easier to produce things I can sell. I’d also love to have a disc cutter, but Harbor Freight’s low-cost model is . . . is . . . I can’t remember exactly what my teacher said about it, but it was unkind. The thing has one steel plate and one plastic, if that says anything to you. The wonderful, high quality Rio Grande model is a couple hundred dollars, though, so I might as well start saving my pennies. Sigh.