Nope, it’s not a big pile of seed beads! Its the teaser photo of the bead soup I sent to my partner, Hope. I ran this photo through a couple of Photoshop filters and blurred the image in Livewriter, just to make sure it’s mostly unrecognisable. But, I think, you can get a gist of the colours it you squint your eyes :)
In my last post I mentioned that I was having difficulty with something I planned to include in my bead soup for Hope. Well, this is what happened. I had been playing with some 12 gauge copper wire from A & E Metals that I got last year. I had made some pretty good links that I though I might include in the bead soup but I wanted to patina them first.
First, I used my tried and true method of soaking some recycled compressed paper pellets (ok this is really “green” kitty litter) with apple cider vinegar and rock salt and a splash of ammonia. I left it buried in this mix for about 12 hours and when I took them out I had gotten some beautiful mixes of mottled grey blue and brilliant aqua. After a bit of work with a green kitchen scrubby and some sandpaper I sealed them with what I thought was a good wax based sealer. (I won’t go into the brand.)
For the second batch of links I wanted to try out the oven patina method. It involves soaking your metal in vinegar and salt for a few hours and then baking the metal in the oven. Rinse in the vinegar mix and repeat the baking. Well, the temperature in my oven must have been way too high for copper because it ended up way too soft. My tweezers (light weight ones too) actually put a dent in the links when I lifted them off the tray. I tried to harden them but the patina (a nice light verdegris) just chipped completely off. Mental Note: Don’t oven patina copper, use this method on brass.
Ok, back to the first batch of links. I went back to them 24 hours later to give them a final polish before I packaged them up. To my shock most of the patina was gone and I was back to shiny new pink toned copper with a couple of patches of aqua. A week later now and they’re all back to a “clean” copper look, but with a nice wax seal. I presume the new formula contains a cleaning agent of some sort. I’ve always used it to seal my polymer clay pieces and to give fabric and fibres a different texture.
Anyway, I’ve ordered a tin of Renaissance Wax. I’ll have to spend some time cleaning the sealer off of the links, patina-ing them and trying out the new wax.
I ended putting something else I had made in the bead soup, which I posted on Monday. According to the lady at the post office the parcel should be there in about two weeks. Counting down the days…….