Patina Daze


Patination is a mix of chemicals added cold and scrubbed off, and other layers of different chemicals added hot and oxidized with water. This is a hot layer- don’t burn it! Ruins it quick if you do.


I’m using a new patina recipe and a new air brush. I’ve always used squirt bottles before; what a dink. Dink-man also dinked his arm over the weekend and had to wait for a few days into the week to begin all this action.


I’m just spraying water to oxidize the cupric, otherwise I would have a respirator on. In the garage you can see my sandblast sprayer and plastic room.


Evaporating water with the torch catalyzes a quicker reaction.


Hand stippling on a finish layer to brighten up.


The heat gun keeps me from burning the patina as I set hand stippling.


Air dry, then a coat of soluvar and it sits overnight to let the patina mature. Next I lay it in the sun till the colors even out and it is good and warm, then I rub a layer of wax over it, let it cool, and buff it out. I won’t know if the patina worked out until then, and if it is a “miss” then I have to redo the entire process, starting from sandblast. And there is no guarantee it would come out better, and many chances for it to come out worse. That is why a master patinist is the prize of a good foundry.


Then it was off to the plant sale for walkable Thyme and we redid this section of the garden path by the sun room. And lots of other yarding- a good sanity break from fishy business.


This is my second fish working with this new patina. Not pictured is the third, as it came out a traditional Old World Green which I have been pushing toward blue. The third may not have gone blue because the day was overcast, warm and humid. Really. Or I may have altered the chemicals somehow or varied the torch heat by too low of temperature in trying not to scald the cupric. I worried all evening that it may need to be sandblasted and done again. After putting it in the hot Utah sun till baking hot I applied the wax coat and it looked great. Different from the others, but more like the recipe intends. (no pictures) This lets me know that I need to really work some magic to maintain the amazing blue tone.


This is the other side of the fish. Convex to concave disperses heat and moisture differently, and the colors really show the physics.


Nice gradations from transparent gold/green of bronze to opaque blue/green. And some white stippling for the underbelly that will fade in over time.


Trout is singing about his pretty patina, or that’s what Stanley tells me.

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