My post today started out so different than it ended up! I was very inspired by our own Jenny Davies-Reazor's look at the folklore of owls, and all the sweet owls she showed, that I had an idea for an etched owl pendant/necklace that I was going to roll out. Of course, this idea came late yesterday...yes, right on schedule for a procrastinator who flies by the seat of her pants.
Where is said pendant, you ask? Uhh, suffice it to say it did not come to pass. I did design and etch...maybe I will write about that on my personal blog. For today's purposes, though, I was not happy with the outcome.
So, today, I decided to share with you my favorite alternative to our beloved liver of sulfur (LOS). If you know my work, you know I patina everything! I haven't really embraced the wonderful colors of patina out there...I have tried Vintaj alcohol inks, but haven't ventured into some of the other wonderful patinas that my talented friends use regularly. I have always been a LOS girl. I love the vintage or antique quality I get on sterling and copper and LOS delivers that everytime. But what about on brass, bronze, or other base metals? Not so much!
My "go to" solution for these metals is Novacan Black. I was introduced to it by Stephanie Lee, when I took her Homesteading class online and later, when I took another class with her at ArtBliss. If you are familiar with Stephanie's gorgeous mixed-media work, you know she uses hardware store lead-free solder and other base metals a lot. To get the beloved antique finish that LOS can't deliver on these metals, she uses the Novacan Black. To be honest, I have never even tried the other ones out there, as I took her at her word on this one.
This brass disk has been cleaned up after etching, no patina.
Here are some different pieces (I used the other because I forgot to photograph these raw, duhhh) after I used the Novacan Black...I usually put a bit in the bottle cap, and use a q-tip to rub the solution on. You may have to change the q-tip frequently...when it starts turning black, I have found it doesn't deliver the solution as readily. Let it dry completely.
Remove the amount you want with 000 gauge steel wool...available at your local hardware store.
Here are my afters...a cool thing about this kind of solution, is that you can go back in for another layer until you get the depth you desire. These haven't been tumbled yet, but after that I will probably polish them with Renaissance wax to seal. Yes, that is the very owl I tried to do...part of him I love, and other parts, not so much! I'm going to keep trying, though!
The one thing Novacan doesn't work on very well is sterling...it just doesn't go very dark. If I am using mixed metals, like with my Molten Morsels, I sometimes use LOS first, then go back over the metals that don't change with the Novacan.
So, there you go! What about you? What "go-to" patina do you use? Please share!!
Oh, you can usually find Novacan at stained-glass suppliers, because it is used a lot to patina the solder on stained glass pieces. It comes in other colors, but I have only tried the black.
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