Learn how to make a Yellow Ochre 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: fume.
Step 2: What You'll Need:
- 3 teaspoons of Yellow Ochre natural Earth paint pigment (from your local art supply shop).
- A fume chamber.
- 3 teaspoons of household ammonia (from my local grocery store).
- 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 4 holes in a plastic container (with lid). I measured 5 cm from the top of the container and drilled (or poked) 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: Make It.
- Thoroughly mix 3 teaspoons of Yellow Ochre with 1 cup of water.
- Spray or dip or paint Yellow Ochre onto the copper.
- Sprinkle a small amount of salt onto the copper.
- Let cook (sit) for 1 hour.
- Let completely dry (24 hours).
- Gently wash in warm water.
- Let dry.