Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bronze Bracelets and Patinas




I've had some questions about how to patina the phosphor bronze wire that I now carry in my Artfire shop. Here are three different Viking knit bangles that I made showing three different options. I love all of these finishes so it's really a matter of personal preference. The first one is the shiny bright wire just as it comes off the coil. I really didn't even need to run this through the tumbler.

The second bracelet with the squiggle clasp got a light patina using JAX Brown-Black Darkener although I'm sure the Midas brand that Rio carries would work the same. This solution is clear and the color develops slowly so it's possible to have much more control than with LOS. When using this type of patina it's important that your metal be well cleaned first to remove any oils that might interfere with the patina. One of my metalsmithing instructors insists on cleaning hers with a toothbrush and soap or scouring powder. But I've found that a run through the tumbler with a little dishsoap or burnishing powder does the job as well. I left this one in the solution until it got a slightly aged look, then rinsed it. I didn't use any steel wool or remove any of the patina.

The third example uses LOS which works beautifully on clean bronze. This got quite dark as you can see in the crevices and I did use 0000 steel wool to buff off some of the patina from the high spots.

25 comments:

  1. Ooh I love it, I can't wait for my wire to get here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nancy, Thank you for posting these examples. Interesting to see the differences on these beautiful bracelets. Not sure which I like the best. It is exciting to have a new metal to work with now that argentium has gotten too pricey for me. I appreciate you offering the wire and for your prompt customer service!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the brown patina best of the three. What gauge wire was used to knit there?

    ReplyDelete
  4. These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing this! The brown patina indeed does look good!...Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing, Nancy! I look forward to working with my new bronze wire. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. that clasp in the first design is AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the brown-black patina (second photo) - such a warm color! I also love the clasp you made for that same piece.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gorgeous photos of these Nancy and wow such finite works too. I love the patina on the 2nd one best!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I kind of favor the second one too. It looks more like antique bronze.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey, Daniel, can we talk about a trade? Your painting lessons look great!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous! I really like the second one, too. I also like the clasp on the first one - very nice! Thanks for sharing your beautiful work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow that is absolutely gorgeous! All 3 of them. I really like the 2nd one's color, it's very mellow. I might have to get some of that Jax stuff. The 1st one is a beautiful warm golden color. It's just beautiful stuff, and your VK work is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now I really can't wait to have the wire here. Beautiful!
    And I had such a "doh!" moment when I saw the clasps. They are fabulous! I have always been doing a clasp that attaches to the focal, but including the hook into the focal is genius! Really! No more off centered focals with my viking knit now that I have seen this :D Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you add ammonia to the LOS, bronze will turn a rainbow of colors like silver and copper do. It starts with a purple and blue range though.....really pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  15. All three are great, but the second is amazing! Love it so much!It's so nice of you to share with us these different examples!
    Thank you,
    Madeline

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful! Thanks for posting this comparison! I seriously want to try this wire. :)

    Tela

    ReplyDelete
  17. love love love, absolutely love it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nancy, I love your work and when it comes to these bracelets, my vote is for the second one! I see you are from Flushing area...do you have a store front? I'm wondering where to purchase JAX Brown-Black Darkener. Online you have to pay quite a bit for shipping because of it's hazardous nature. I grew up in Lapeer and will be 'home' for the holiday. Thought maybe you'd know of place in the area where I could purchase this. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, Cindy! I sell on Artfire and at shows. I bought my JAX at C R Hill in Berkley.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, I've started doing Viking Knit and want to play with doing the patina too. This is great, you've got a nice set of different levels of patina as examples and your work is stunning. I'm nowhere near that level yet!

    Can I ask if you treat the patinaed pieces with anything after? I'm limited in what materials I can get from here (New Zealand).

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, I've started doing Viking Knit and want to play with doing the patina too. This is great, you've got a nice set of different levels of patina as examples and your work is stunning. I'm nowhere near that level yet!

    Can I ask if you treat the patinaed pieces with anything after? I'm limited in what materials I can get from here (New Zealand).

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks, Alex! I don't use any kind of protective finish on my jewelry. From what I've heard it wears off unevenly and has to be reapplied so I don't bother.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Nancy! I wasn't sure if it was ok to leave it untreated or not. Good luck with your art, you've got great talent!

    ReplyDelete

Sorry I had to turn off comments for a while as I was getting spammed to death. For people wondering where to get the free tutorials, they are available at Szarka's website, www.magpiegemstones.com. Click on the resources and tutorials link. Thanks, Nancy

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.