Learn how to make a flower and ammonia patina on copper.
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: Wrap, Tie and Drizzle.
Step 2: What You'll Need:
- Some flower petals.
- An absorbent cloth (I used a microfibre dishcloth from the dollar store).
- A bit of yarn or string.
- A zip bag.
- 2 teaspoons of household ammonia (from my local grocery store).
- A piece of copper.
Step 3: 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 4: Make It.
- Pluck the flower petals. Make an petal, copper, petal sandwich.
- Wrap the cloth around the sandwich evenly.
- Tie securely with a bit of yarn or string.
- Drizzle 2 teaspoons of ammonia evenly, a bit on both sides of the cloth.
- Pop into a zip bag and let cook (sit) for 4 days.
- Remove from zip bag and soak in warm water for about 10 minutes.
- Open up the cloth and gently remove the flower petals.
- Allow to fully dry.
- If the patina is chalky, gently wash in warm water.
Be careful not to inhale the ammonia fumes as they can be harmful. And do wear protective eyewear - the fumes can damage your eyes.