One of the things I love about creating jewelry is that I’m always experimenting. Sometimes the end result goes in a totally different direction than where you thought it was going to go. Other times it’s the happy accidents that end up in an amazing result. Don’t get me wrong, most pieces that are created take a lot of planning to get the end result. In some cases things just have to happen in a specific order for it to work.
Today I wanted to share one of my experiments. I am by no means an expert; there are probably many different and better ways to patina copper. The idea for this came from an accident that happened one day when I was cleaning a copper ring using my vinegar, water and salt pickle solution. I didn’t have enough in the crockpot so part of the band was above the solution. I left the ring for a few days and it started to turn green where it wasn’t submerged. This wasn’t what I wanted to happen at the time so I cleaned it off but I thought I’d try to do it on purpose on another project.
Note this project takes days to complete, if you want a heavy patina.
1. Before starting I cleaned and roughed up the copper with a metal file (so the patina would have something to grab on to
2. I then mixed a half cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of water and a tsp of salt (please note the solution is blue because I used it to clean the copper before starting)
3. Next I cut some steel wire to hang the copper pendants. I found it is best to keep the pendants from touching each other so that the voids in the patina are not so large. I also put some cling wrap so the fumes wouldn’t make my whole workshop smell like vinegar.
And, if you find that you don't like the result, you can always throw the item in the pickle and start over!
6. Add your protective coating so that the patina doesn't rub off on while you are wearing the items.
I'll be adding the finished pendants to my shop this weekend.
Thanks for reading,