Thursday. Pair One.
Chemlab for fishies. The fish enter the sandblast tent and are stripped of all contaminants and oxidation. With the surface sand-scoured, all imperfections show up and I put in some last fidgets with welding and chasing- then back in the tent for a follow up visit from Dr.Sanders. The surface glows a muted gold, but is as vulnerable to the air as a ginger to the high desert sun. Like a base-tan with sunscreen, they need a chemical etching that bites into the bronze then goes inert allowing a skin of protection. The fish go black with this initial etching layer, but it allows other chemicals to safely react to the surface and bring out other colors. The fish will go blue-green (Cupric Nitrate and Zinc Nitrate) with hints of dun yellow and yellow-green (a few drops of Ferric in the solution), while the hoops will turn a rich brown with white in all the recesses.
Sandblast. Weld / Chase. Sandblast.
Layer One: basecoat etching sprayed on.
Layer One: Rinse.
Layer One: dry / set with heat.
Two single fish, a welder, and a plastic enclosure hiding a sandblaster. Oh dear.
Layer One: scrub back to chocolate.
Etched and toned and ready for color.
Cupric / Zinc Nitrate brings on the color.
Friday’s fish is already done, this is Saturday’s fish.
Saturday: single fish #2
Hooking on for the next round of Cupric to green out the middle.
Single #2 has Ferric added in for surprise areas of y/g.
Patina builds up with chemicals and heat, layer after layer. Control of the process is partly knowing when you haven’t gotten there yet with knowing when to stop, all the while blending out areas that come on too fast and bringing up areas that seem to never get there. There is quite a bit of alchemy to it, as it is a mad science.
Sunday Duo: out of sandblast.
swimming around the driveway
Sandblast. Weld / Chase. Sandblast. is how the morning went
Expand into your golden hours…
… soon they live only in memory.
Etching layer squirt.
Blackened, rinsed and heated. too hot out for the next bit.
I cleared the only chem shop in the valley of their Cupric Nitrate, a trace of 100g- or about not enough for one fish. They ordered more, it should have been in last Thurs/Fri, it wasn’t. I’ve used my reserve stash for the first 4, and have just the 100g left for this last pair which will never make it. The fish will have to set overnight and see if the order arrives tomorrow- not a hardship on the human to wait as temps peaked out at 98 degrees.