How do you give brass a BLUE patina?
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I've recently seen brass with a blue patina! How do you get that look (it definately didn't look like painted with acrylics or something) and, maybe even more important, how do you seal it? Is there a name for it (like verdigris for green)?
Thank you :)
Posted at 6:21 am Jun 5, 2009 EDT
I have stuff- for years now-that will do it.
I'll wade back into he studio to see the brand name in a little while..
anyway- you brush it on.
Use a sacrifice brush too- it'll get wrecked...
and let dry - and reapply.
I usually spray varnished with Fixable spray..
It's more matte.
Posted at 7:22 am Jun 5, 2009 EDT
Here are two techniques I use. The first works best for small pieces, the second for lager ones:
1. Take some clean kittly litter (the cheap kind, which is just chunks of clay) and pour ammonia in it. You want the kittly litter to be damp, but not wet. Put a layer of the kitty litter in a sealable container (tupperware) and lay your pieces of work on the layer, face up. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the pieces, and cover them the rest of the way with ammonia soaked kittly litter, seal the conatiner, and leave it for about two days. Open it up and check the work. Repeat if necessary.
This is how I do these earrings - these are copper, but it works for brass as well:
2. Take a sealable conatiner and stretch wires across the top so you can suspend things from the wires. In the container, put a bowl of ammonia. Suspend the piece of work from the wires, sprinkle it with salt, close the container, and wait about two days. Check the work, and replace the ammonia (if it doesn't make you gag when you smell it anymore) and sprinkle some more salt on it if necessary.
This is the technique I used for this bracelet:
Note: Be careful about how much salt you use. If you over do it, the salt will pit the metal.
Note: If you use these techniques without the salt, you will generally get a greener color, and it will take longer.
Posted at 8:24 am Jun 5, 2009 EDT
Thank you, miasophia!
I use wax to seal them. You can use a spray finish, but eventually the finish will wear off in spots, leaving a nasty line, and it's nearly impossible to repair (you have to completely strip the piece down and redo it, patina and all). Also, it makes the metal feel like plastic. Spray is fine for earrings and necklaces that don't rub much, but I wouldn't use it on bracelets.
Wax offers enough protection (the patina will still change over time, though) and can be easily replaced. And the metal still feels like metal. When I sell a piece, I also send a little container of wax and instructions on how to use it (wax on, wax off :) )
Posted at 8:52 am Jun 5, 2009 EDT
Well... Microcrystaline (Renaissance Wax) wax is what everybody recommends (expensive), but, actually, paste furniture wax, parafin, car wax, etc. all work. Parafin is hard to put on, but it wears well. Paste furniture wax and car wax are easy to apply - car wax is made for metal, after all...
Try whatever you have on hand on a piece of scrap and see what you like best. If you want to use it on something with a patina, make sure you try it on scrap with the same patina. Some waxes might affect the color.
Posted at 1:48 pm Jun 5, 2009 EDT