We started the week by banging things.
Do I need to say more…?
We practised making textures in pieces of sheet metal using hammers and other bits and pieces. I started with the aluminum because it’s the softest which meant I could practise a little bit before moving to the increasingly expensive copper and the “bitch of the metals” brass, which was significantly harder.
On the same day I made my first ring! Okay, it’s like the worst ring ever, but it’s still a ring! The ring practise was to teach us a few new skills: sawing the copper wire, the importance of annealing and pickling the copper, shaping into a “ring” shape and soldering two ends together, as well as attempting to light and torches and not setting stuff/ourselves on fire.
Fire! Mixing flux.
All this work to produce…… A ring!!! >
The next workshop was about texturing and patination. This was fun! It was like being back in Chemistry, playing with all the chemicals and mixing things! I failed chemistry so I couldn’t tell you any of the chemical names or the micing processes, but it was fun!
This was verdigris on copper. It’s achieved by painting copper nitrate onto the surface of the metal (after cleaning it) and firing it until the copper nitrate evaporates, but not too much or it burns – like in my first sample! The second sample has been painted 4 times. It takes a few coats to build up the strong milky green colour. The metal is then laquered to prevent it staining.
Some internet verdigris samples I found:
Tammy Antoinette www.thisnext.com
The next was copper brused with flux and then fired, more than the verdigris (until the copper goes red hot). I fired my piece 3 times to achieve this beautiful spotty pink colour. Like the verdigris it needs laquered.
Then came the Liver of Sulphur. You take a piece of textured/etched metal and leave it in the solution for about 30 seconds which blackens the metal and then you rub it with some steel wool to create a slightly more pronounced piece of texture. In this first sample I left the brass in a spent solution so it didn’t completely work but did turn it a beautiful gold colour (the picture doesn’t show it to it’s full effect) and the second is a copper sample which has worked well.
So that was my third week of workshop practice. I think I’m going to start blogging after each workshop, rather than at the end of the week because I keep forgetting things!