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Copper necklace with patina - part one

I went a little crazy earlier this summer and cut out quite a few more copper tube beads than I really needed.  Ok, so there's the challenge...think up ways to use them that won't leave me bored.  Here's what we've got so far:
Copper bead necklace
Helix-style necklace 

But wait, there's more!  I wanted to play around with more patinas, and this is what I came up with: an easy way to create an ammonia and salt patina.  Please be careful when you do this!  Ammonia has wicked nasty fumes, so please take precautions and make sure you have good ventilation, or even better, do it outside!
Materials and Tools

Copper tubing

Tube cutter
Netting fabric
Small container with lid
Packing tape

1. Take a look at my earlier tutorial that covers how to cut copper tubing to make beads.  Make as many beads as you'd like but don't proceed to the LOS patination step.

2. Mix up some ammonia and salt in a bit of warm water, and pour it into a small lidded container.  How much of each?  I don't really know.  I just added a large splash of ammonia and sprinkled some salt in.  Using a piece of packing tape, attach a piece of netting fabric to the outside of the container near the top. 

3. Place the beads to be patinated on the fabric and dip it down into the ammonia solution.  Stretch the fabric over top of the liquid so that the liquid is about 1/2 inch below the fabric, and tape the fabric to the oppsite side of the container on the outside.  Sprinkle the beads with more salt and snap on the lid.

4. Allow the beads to enjoy the fumes for as long as it takes to reach the depth of color you want.    

Part two will be posted next Monday, when I'll share the instructions for a completed necklace!

Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Cherie said…
Very cool technique!
Fascinating! Thank you, Cyndi.
Michelle Mach said…
Very cool! Do you coat the finished beads with anything to preserve the patina?
Cyndi L said…
Most everything that you could use to seal in the finish changes it, so no, I didn't coat them. It's a risk either way, but I love the color so much that I'm going to just go with it and see what develops :-)