So, last week I mentioned I was trying out a patina recipe to get green on copper. It involved putting sawdust in a plastic cup and adding a mixture of vinegar and ammonia (1:3 ratio). You bury your piece under the sawdust and let it sit for one hour to one day. Well, three days later, I gave up because nothing happened (except the heat patina from annealing came off). My guess is, either the red oak sawdust I used was the wrong kind of wood, or the “janitorial strength” ammonia was either too strong or not strong enough for the ratio. I do know this: fuming a piece over ammonia will get you a blue color very quickly, and this mixture stank of ammonia (I had a cut on my finger that would actually burn every time I took the lid off to check it.) So I used a bit of plastic netting from a bag of onions to suspend this leaf over the mixture, covered it, et voila! Blue. Then I sealed it was spray automotive enamel and now I’m done.
Still wish it was green, though.
I’ll be on the lookout for more recipes. Meanwhile, I’m still practicing wire wrapping. This cheap, repro Roman coin (which my husband was going to get rid of!) doesn’t look terribly bad in this picture . . .
. . . but there’s some wonk to the wrapping wires. I guess pressing them against an uneven coin is going to produce an uneven result (who’d have thought? Ha.) Lesson learned: I need some dowels in larger sizes than what I have. Maybe I’ll hunt around the house for some things. Also, next time I try this particular wrap, I’ll bind the sides. I’m not going to finish this piece . . . no, wait. I’ll save it in case I have a new bail idea and I want to do a practice run first.
And finally, here’s something I fold-formed in class this week:
I didn’t get too into this, because I learned about t-folds and their variations last summer, and I had other projects I wanted to do. But . . . I learned that if you wrap a dowel in the middle of bit of sheet metal, clamp the ends of the sheet into a vise, remove the dowel, and then gently use a mallet to make a “pillow”, you can decorate said pillow by dimpling it with dapping punches. What you see here is the reverse side, which has a strange, alien-intestine look to it. I was thinking of making a pendant with this–not unlike a bolo tie, with a cord on each side, but maybe I’ll wait and make a better one next week. I just pulled back the edges and wrapped them toward the back to see what it would look like; now that I’ve got an idea, surely I could do better.
And finally, I may have learned something about copper solder that will make it look better! I’ll try it Monday and post results.