Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Red Patina on Copper

I tried the torch heating and borax method of adding a red patina to copper again.  I textured the piece of copper first and then heated it from the back. My goal is to get my process to the point where I am getting consistent results.  Practice, practice, practice!

I started out with a piece of copper sheet - keeping the pieces relatively small until I get a feel for the heat needed to make this happen consistently.  I did discover that in my experiments today - the torch has to be hot and the heat has to be constant to create an even red once quenched in the borax.  I clean the copper with vinegar and salt and then some fine sandpaper (I have found that works better than a scotchbrite) before I start heating it.  I heat the copper until it is glowing orange and then immediately drop it in the borax bath. I have also found that heating a piece of copper again (after it has been scrubbed clean with the sandpaper and water) does not, for some reason, work at all. No matter how hot I heat it, it doesn't get red.  Odd.

There is a lot I do not know about this process - so I have been changing things up as I heat and quench each piece.  I change the borax and water every two pieces or so - I am not sure if that affects the efficacy of the borax bath though.  

I did a fair number of pieces today and this is the only one that retained the red patina.  I even tumbled it for 2 hours in steel shot, dawn and water. I am only slightly discouraged :), and will definitely keep trying.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mrs Beadsley is having a Giveaway!

I looked up from my bench one day and realized that I have a lot of followers on this blog and a lot of fans on Facebook.  I wanted to to do something for all those people that have followed me from one jewelry making experiment to another and cheered me on throughout. Your company means a lot to me - your visits and kind comments, questions, and thoughts - it is so much more than I would have anticipated it being when I first started mrs beadsley's workshop.

So, to say thank you I am having a giveaway - the drawing will take place on November 7.  To enter the giveaway (each activity will count as one entry - no person can actually enter more than once, but if you do each of these four things you will be entered four times) all you have to do is

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post
  2. Like my Facebook Page (link here)
  3. Leave a comment on the giveaway post on Facebook
  4. Share the post to your Facebook timeline
On November 7, I will add everybody's name to a spreadsheet and then, using a random number generator, will choose the winner.  

And what, you may ask, am I giving away? Why silver of course!!! A 10 gauge fine silver bangle - either the hammered one or if you so prefer, the smooth one.

Thank you again for the gift of your time and kindness. It has certainly made my journey so much more fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Red Patina on Copper

So, I tried my hand at creating a red patina on copper.  I read this blog, found some Borax (thank you Eileen for your help navigating Target!) and went to work.

I have some sheet copper that I obtained a while ago from some very, very nice workmen in Jamaica Plain (MA) - they were working on the roof of an old stone house outside Forest Hill Cemetery - they let me grab as much as I could carry in one load which was SO so nice.  Anyway, I cut a couple of squares out of that copper (not sure what gauge it is - maybe 18 gauge), sanded the copper pieces down and started heating.  I heated the square until it was orange and then quenched it in the borax/water mix.

this is the first square done

It didn't turn red right away, I actually rinsed it off in between heating and quenching.  The above picture is after three heats/quenches/rinses. SO excited.

Of course, the second one (especially since you want them to be the same because they are earrings for goodness sakes) was more difficult.  As a matter of fact, I messed the next square up entirely (and since it had been messed up I played with trying all sorts of fire/quench/no rinse/rinse/salt experiments on it.  Poor thing.

The third square, as you can see from the picture below, was probably not rinsed well enough between quench and reheat - there are bubbles of some sort and the color is not as bright as the first one.
first square on right, see the pitting on the one on the left

All in all though I am excited by the outcome and I will definitely try this again.  I believe once I get the process more refined, I may be able to control the color outcome a little better.
Sterling silver handcrafted earwires

Friday, October 3, 2014

Even MORE Bracelets!

These seems to be my favorite thing to make!  Lots more - all going to Monponsett Trading Post in Halifax, MA.  Trying to increase the inventory to get ready for the holiday season.

Blue Peruvian Opal rounds with silver bead caps, bali style silver beads, magnetic clasp

Crystal rondelles, bali style silver beads, snowflake charm

Big juicy Muscovite rondelles, silver beads, snowflake charm

Azurite rondelles, silver spacer beads, bali style silver heart bead

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gemstone Bracelets

I am trying to build up the inventory at the shop for the upcoming holidays.  I made some simple, colorful gemstone bracelets, added some lovely little silver spacers/bali style beads and either magnetic clasps (people LOVE them!) or strung on elastic.  Simple and beautiful!

Deep purple amethyst with freshwater pearls

Large peridot rondelles. silver crystal spacers

Faceted tourmaline rondelles, silver crystal spacers

Red aventurine rounds, silver crystal spacers

Amethyst rondelles, silver stardust rounds

Some wonderful little Czech 6/0 beads in a Picasso finish on leather

Green glass pearls, silver spacers