For my All Jeweled in White line, I am looking for interesting ways to add touches of white to the jewelry I create. Pearls and crystals are an obvious way to do this, but I wanted to try something different.
I personally adore the look of a beautiful bronze garden statue as it develops white streaks from the calcium and magnesium carbonates in water it comes in contact with. With this in mind, I decided to create two patina treatments for raw brass components. The first is a two step process to 'calcify' the raw brass and seal it. The second involves the same process as the first with the addition of a torch patina base.
Raw and Torch Patina Links
I have tried torch patinas before, but this was a good day for me to practice on various shapes and sizes of metal. Something I had read about, but needed to learn by doing, is all brass pieces will not develop the same level of patina via torch (or other methods). Because the metal content can vary from batch to batch, piece to piece, slight, and sometime significant, differences in the darkness of the metal can occur.
Something else I had fun developing with the torch and brass was an understanding of how different lengths of flame and time can produce distinct results. In the Unsealed Ladies photo above I've included four samples. Clockwise from the top right is the original raw brass component, then three variations of my calcified patina: a deep torch patina, on raw brass and a light torch patina. I really like how all of these turned out and couldn't wait to apply the final step and seal the pieces.
Calcified Ladies, Final Sealed Product vs. Raw Brass (top left)
I was thrilled to see my calcified patina come to life as I applied the final step of sealing each piece with a glossy finish. I love how rich each test piece appears and will be making beautiful jewelry to compliment each finish. Do you have a favorite or something that inspires you as a finish for jewelry? If so, I'd love to hear your comments.
P.S. I couldn't leave without sharing a few beautiful photographs of streaky bronze garden statues from around the web. Enjoy!