The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Painting with Fire- Torching a Patina on Copper

Microtorch
Fire can transform a piece of copper into a rainbow of color.  Loving to work with fire, I have numerous torches.  For my birthday I bought a Blazer butane microtorch to use in soldering.  It is a great little torch because you can add oxygen to the flame to get the right amount of heat.  Also nice that it starts with pushing a button rather than a lighter.  Any torch will work  however.

Variations in color
Some people make a piece of jewelry then heat it with the torch to get the look they want.  I chose to patina an entire sheet because I want to make earrings out of it and I want them to look similar.  Heat patina is tricky because you don't really know the results until you remove the heat.  The metal changes first from gold, to orange, then reddish, green, blues and finally black.  You can see all the different possibilities here in this photo.

I put the piece of metal on a tripod and heated it from underneath moving the torch around so as not to overheat the metal.  When a color I liked magically appeared on the surface I removed the heat.  If you hold the torch without moving it you get something that looks like this.  The back of the metal is black because  it got really hot, but I think this will make a nice earring.  I just let the sheet of copper cool naturally so I could watch the colors emerge and decide it I wanted to hit it again with heat.


Getting the patina to stay can be an issue because the lacquers will muddy the colors and dull the finish.  Here is a forum where people suggest different products but I am just going to let nature take its course and see what happens.  I'll post some jewelry I make out of this sheet and let you know about finishes as I experiment further.  I have read that you can also patina in an oven but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

If you got questions, leave me a comment and I'll do my best.


17 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this...very cool effects :-)

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    1. As close as I will ever come to painting a mandala.

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  2. This is so cool! I would love to learn- but I know I would end up hurting myself and getting burnt or something LOL But this is awesome!! :)

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  3. I love learning about other's craft! Thanks for sharing!!!
    xo Tara
    http://taradaramadeit.com

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  4. Fascinating!!! I enjoyed your previous article as well. I NEVER follow directions... ;-)

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  5. Very pretty! Can't wait to see what you make with it!

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  6. Wow-I would definitely hurt myself. Thanks for sharing.

    Carrie

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  7. Very cool blog! Love your designs <3 TAG <3

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  8. I was just wanting to give this a try after seeing a local restaurant sign that had this effect. Thanks so much for sharing your process! New follower from TAG.

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  9. LOVE this!!! How very cool and beautiful.

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    1. Mistie,

      Love your shop to be Green site. I love that you are looking for green products and do all the investigating. I have benchmarked your site for future shopping. I have a growing concern about the amount of mining all over the planet and have been moving towards using scrap metals and recycled materials.

      If you are wanting more recycled jewelry options, I make a line of recycled tin jewelry called Trashy Tinsel and I use scrap metal in my enamels.

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  10. very interesting and unique work!

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  11. hi from TAG! hope you'll come visit and follow my blog, too! xoxoxo

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  12. I've been doing a little flame painting myself great article by the way !! https://www.etsy.com/listing/473517752/copper-earrings-flame-painted-artisan
    https://www.etsy.com

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  13. Hey :)

    I want to use this coloring for a drinking cup, do you know which cover / lacquer to use so the patina won't change its color after painting and will be food safe?

    all the covers I tried to use changing the colors of my project

    thanks a lot :)

    Yael

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I look forward to reading your comments so thanks for taking the time to write a little something. Wishing you the best of all possible good. Jan E O