Another older tutorial…for patina lovers to try at home! Its fun!
This Sapphire Patina is just so beautiful and it’s something all of you
can try at home with terrific results!
Here’s the project:
Sapphire Starry Night Earrings Tutorial
Materials you’ll need:
2 Brass Rectangle Charms
2 Ear wires or 20ga wire
2 Brass stars or small charms
Tools you’ll need:
1.5mm hole punch (if no holes in brass charms)
Wood Dapping Block & Hammer ( if shaping your metal)
Fine steel wool or scotchbrite (outside scrubby of sponge will work)
Spray bottle of water
Ammonia – household
Plastic container with lid
2 small round flat stones
Metal Aerosol Sealant
Setting up the patina station~
Set up your plastic container in a well ventilated area ~ the lid will be on for most of this procedure, but ammonia has a very strong odor…so outside in a covered area is a good place. I’ve used a plastic old deli meat container… large enough to place a few pieces in…(use a container that you can have specifically for this project and not for future food) ~ Plastic gloves are a good idea too!
Old Deli meat container…but any plastic container with lid will work ~
Lay two round flat stones on bottom of container and pour in just a bit of Ammonia …do not cover the stones with ammonia…just enough to cover the bottom of the container. Put the lid on for now.
Here’s the concept for the stones…soon the metal charms will rest on top~
Preparing the brass:
Texture the two brass rectangles anyway you like. The pieces pictured here are pre-hammered….Shaping the metal before you patina, is a good idea….it’s possible to flake off the patina if you bend the metal afterwards.
Then I used my wooden dapping block to shape…you can also accomplish this on a soft piece of pine and tapping lightly with the round end of the hammer…(hitting the back side will curve the charms outward and hitting on the front side will curve them inwards)
Here I’m curving inward ~Take your brass pieces and scrub them (without water) with your scrubby, scotch brite/steel wool or brass brush ..this will bring a shine to your pieces….they are now ready to be patina’ed.
Spray the shiny face side of each piece with with water to wet the surface. While not touching the shiny side with your fingers,(use plyers or hold the sides) place your brass charms on the stones in the plastic container face side up.
Spritz cleaned metal pieces with water
Carefully place brass pieces face side up on stones or small plastic cups (crystal lite cups upside down) You can use anything not porous to place the components on ~
Sprinkle coarse salt on the brass components…it’s ok if some of the salt spills into the ammonia…it won’t affect the outcome…just don’t let the brass piece fall in….if it does…just rinse, place on stone & re-sprinke the salt.
How much salt on the metal is a personal preference. I try to give an even coat…so the pieces match for earrings…but if making pendants experiment with different amounts or even try smaller grain table salt..I like the coarse salt because it makes a much bigger pock mark.
Place the lid back on the plastic container and wait around 24 hours…the fumes from the ammonia work with the salt and brass….you can peek occasionally… When you like the color it’s time for the next step ~ Here are the pieces ready to be rinsed! Look at that blue! Gorgeous!
With plastic gloves or plyers pull out the salt covered pieces and rinse off salt in water ~
Rinsing the salt off~
Remove from water and lightly dry with a paper towel….let sit til dry for an hour or so ~
Brass charms drying~ So pretty with some of the brass showing through~
Protecting the Finish:
From here you can see the beautiful variation dark and light blue tones and bits of brass peeking through…to me this is just perfect! Now I’m ready to seal…. You can pick up an inexpensive lacquer at the hardware store…or you may have one in the workshop.
(Other sealants: Permalac, Sculpt Noveau Color Guard, Krylon (metal sealants – I prefer aerosol -Matte for patina)
I use a paper plate, but you could use a paper towel or newspaper….holding the spray lacquer at least 12″ away, lightly spray your pieces evenly….A VERY LIGHT COAT….Don’t saturate…or you’ll loose the wonderful deep tone…let dry for 20 minutes and spray again 2 more times at 20 min intervals ~(a total of 3 times) The spray lacquer will help preserve the blue patina ~
Brass charms sprayed with Lacquer and drying ~
Finishing things up:
If your charms don’t already have a hole you can add one now or even before you start the patina process. I like to use a 1.5mm hole punch to make a big enough hole for the earring to swing easily from the ear wire.
Center the punch and gently squeeze ~
Attach your ear wire and charm to both pieces and you are ready to go!
This is a super fun project and really easy to accomplish great results!
Add ear wires and charms or beads ~
TaDa! You have an amazing pair of artisan earrings and you did it yourself!
Here’s a starter kit to make an earring set & necklace.
2 Brass Blanks (round or square- you must texture your own) 2 Star Charms
2 Antique Brass Ear Wires Coarse Salt