B9 Patina Samples

Patina samples by Julia Rai

Submitted to the Registry evaluators - November 2008

This was a great fun project to complete and made me feel a bit like a mad professor! I used a number of sources for research into the science of patination, particulary Tim McCreight’s book, The Complete Metalsmith. I also had to ask about the samples in this project. When I first read it, I made an assumption that the samples had to all be metal clay. It wasn’t until I’d made 10 identical samples that I realised it meant you could use any metal. So I then added in a couple of other metals.

I found some of the experiments really interesting, like fuming a copper panel in ammonia and burying the metal sample in cat litter soaked in ammonia. A mashed up hard boiled egg sealed in a bag with one of the samples was slow but a more friendly way of getting the effect of Liver of Sulphur.

Depth of research – 3 out of 4
Overall presentation – 3 out of 3
Craftsmanship – 2 out of 2
Innovation – 0.5 out of 1

Overall 8.5 out of 10 so not too bad. I would have picked up more points if I’d used a wider variety of metals – fine silver is pretty limited when it comes to patina. The comments from the assessors confirmed this, “I like the use of a single panel for these experiments because it makes comparison easy. One thing these samples illustrate is that silver offers a fairly narrow range of options. This explains and underscores the emergence of enamel in the early history of precious metals. The presentation board will be a useful tool in a teaching studio.”

Here is the project description from the Masters Registry website:-

​B9 Patina Samples

Create a presentation that shows at least ten patina samples on identical sample swatches. This may include familiar patinas, but should go beyond simple dip-and-dry approaches. Examples would include fuming on brass and copper, layered patinas, the use of resists, and similar techniques that reach beyond the ordinary. Swatches could be squares, disks, domes, etc. and should be mounted on a presentation board along with a short description of the patina.

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