It is Halloween so let’s mix up a potion for our metal clay!
Last week, I talked about firing FastFire BronzClay. This week I am going to take the bracelet from that experiment and discuss using a technique called ammonia fuming to patina it.
About a year ago I was inspired by a piece and directions I found from the Squidoo Lens on BronzClay by Margaret Schindel. It is an extensive discussion about the original BronzClay (which is different than the FastFire BronzClay that I was discussing over that last two weeks). This site contains lots of useful ideas and tips (Squidoo Lens on BronzClay
). If you scroll through the copious information you will find a section on finishing your bronze and more specifically there is a beautiful photograph of a turquoise coloured piece by Celie Fago and a short description on using ammonia to fume your bronze clay pieces. It was from this that I got inspired.
Here is the piece I made last summer:
BEFORE I start, remember to consider safety. Ammonia is an harsh chemical; read the label and take precautions. Consider using a respirator as the fumes are HARSH and dangerous. The label on my ammonia container states: “MAY IRRITATE EYES AND SKIN. DO NOT MIX WITH BLEACH. DO NOT GET IN EYES OR ON SKIN OR CLOTHING. DO NOT BREATHE IN FUMES…”Here is what I did:
First I poured household ammonia (found at the grocery store) into a glass jar.
Then I took some wire and shaped it so that I could suspend the pieces in the jar so that they were not touching the ammonia and I hung the wire over the edges of the jar. I then covered the jar with a plastic wrap and left the container to sit. The article recommends allowing it to sit for 24 hours to 10 days).
Here is a photograph after 12 hours.
Here are the pieces after 36 hours.
And here is the original as a reference:
The pieces haven’t achieved the colour I was hoping for so I have put them back in the jar for this week and will add a picture next week. Notice that the colour is not even, I am not sure whether this will correct over time, I guess we will have to wait and see.
Remember to keep safety in mind when you are mixing up your potions.