Introduction: Watercolour Paper and Ammonia Patina on Copper.
Watercolour Paper can be used as a stencil when patina making. This allows for the use of image making in patinas.
Step 1: Introduction:
I’ve been having a lot of fun with household copper patinas. What’s a house hold patina? Generally a patina created using things found in the Home, rather than, patinas made with nasty Chemicals which are not always fun to play with.
I found to my delight that many materials both organic and non organic could be used to create very unique copper and ammonia patinas. I call these materials - reactive materials.
I also had to figure out how to use those reactive materials to create patinas. I came up with a few methods which offered many possibilities.
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to: Fume.
Step 2: What You'll Need:
- A bit of Watercolour Paper (I used arches 90 pound rough)
- A fume chamber.
- 1 cup + 3 teaspoons of household ammonia (from my local grocery store).
- 2 teaspoons of salt.
- A piece of copper.
Step 3: Make a Fume Chamber:
There are many ways to make a fume chamber. Basically you need a plastic container with a lid and a hanging method which will suspend your piece of copper in the fume chamber.
Here is how to make a fume chamber like mine:
Poke or drill holes in a plastic container (with lid). I measured 5 cm from the top of the container and drilled (or poked) four 1mm holes.
I used 1mm copper wire.
Put a bit of paper towel at the bottom of the fume chamber and add 3 teaspoons of household ammonia.
Be careful not to inhale the ammonia fumes as they can be harmful. And do wear protective eyewear - the fumes can damage your eyes.
Step 4: Copper Preparation:
It is best to first degrease your copper, this will help the patina adhere to the copper and make it more stable (less likely to flake off).
There are a few ways to do this. I recommend emery. Use 220 emery by hand or a sanding disc with a rotary tool.
Be sure to emery the entire surface and do not touch the copper with your greasy fingers. I like to wear gloves, but if you hold the copper only on the edges, you’ll be ok.
Step 5: The Stencil:
You will need to make a Watercolour Paper stencil. I used arches 90 pound rough and a scalpel to cut mine out. Depending on the effect you want the stencil could be positive or negative.
Step 6: An Ammonia and Salt Solution:
For this patina you’ll need to mix up an ammonia and salt solution: 1 cup of ammonia mixed with 2 teaspoons of salt. I used a spray bottle to apply the solution but a paint brush could also be used - it’s just a bit trickier.
Step 7: Make It:
- Place the Watercolour Stencil on the copper.
- Spray an ammonia and salt solution on the copper. (Tip: more solution is not better, a wet patina tends to be fragile).
- Cover Fume Chamber.
- Let cook (sit) for 2 hours.
- Let dry for 1 hour.
- Soak in warm water until paper comes off without pulling.
- Let dry.