Oxidize Brass- I Can Do That *The next chapter.

30 March 2012

I will try to give you my .02 cents of advice as I am learning new tools, techniques etc…. I think it will be fun to see it from a beginner” point of view” and hope it will help others in the process.

Number #1
I cut some little disk with a disk cutter; Love it, fast and easy.
Then I hammer those little things, I hit it so hard the side was all squish OPSSS…. Better go easy next time, they say to practice before you do a piece and it is true, but I think you are wasting good metal. (I wasted a lot)
My motto, hand made is not perfect, it has character.

Another suggestion, I use a metal punch to make holes in the disk. It work really good BUT, I find it useless, you cannot see inside the disk where you have mark your little dots for the holes. My next purchase is 2 sizes hand punches.

Number #2
Oxidize Brass.
This is more like fume oxidation

I will try different method and let you know my .02 cents.

For this one, I use household Ammonia
Using household ammonia is really quite easy and is an inexpensive way to oxidize brass. I have tried this method on finished pieces that included my gems and it work good.
All you need is a clean glass jar with a lid, a piece of wire or fishing line to suspend your piece and ammonia. It is a little smelly but if you are quick it should be no problem. I use lemon scent and it’s not that bad.  At no time should the metal or finished jewellery come in physical contact with the ammonia. It is the fumes that will produce this patina.
First clean your piece of brass with alcohol to remove any oils or dirt so that the patina is consistent throughout the piece. Do not touch the surface that you want patinated.

Pour about 1 inch of Ammonia in a pint or quart size glass jar.

Screw on the lid and wait a couple hours. You can check the piece to see what color you want to stop at. I check every 15 minutes to see what color I wanted…it is a bit brown but it will be up to you to see how deep color you are looking for.

There will not be any ammonia odor to your piece but if you want you can leave it out for a while and very gently buff out any high points for contrast.

That's it! Try it its fun and easy


 and After



1 comment:

Judy Cogo Designs said...

Elaine, thanks for this tip. Especially useful since copper and brass are being used more and more now instead of the ever increasing expensive precious metals.