Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Copper Inlay


#1

Up until this time I have been lurking and learning an awful lot
from this site. I have been doing silver work for about three years
for fun and I need all the help I can get.

I have been doing some copper wire inlay in sterling. I like the
looks but would like to increase the contrast between the copper and
sterling. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Ernie


#2

Ernie;

I to have been lurking here and I also enjoy the cooper silver
contrast. I find that time ages the cooper, by this I mean that I
polish the silver but don’t touch the cooper it gives it a deep red
almost brown color. However if anyone knows of any patinas I’d love
to hear about it.

Miri


#3

OK, two patinas-

First, Baldwin’s Patina from Reactive Metal Studios will color the
copper a nut brown while leaving the silver as is. Second, You can
flux the piece, heat it with the torch to annealing temp, let it
cool for a minute or so and then quench in cold water. The copper
will turn burgundy or cherry red. This is a deep patina, and I have
successfully polished such pieces with Zam without losing it.
Haven’t tried it on mokume gane, but I have tried this with silver
solder inlay on copper, and with silver overlay on copper, and the
results were satisfactory.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#4

Hi Ernie,

There is a product available from Reactive Metals Studio called
"Baldwin’s Patina." It applies a patina to the copper without much
of a noticeable effect on the silver. It’s great for copper/sterling
mokume gane, or other mixed-metal pieces.

You can easily track down RMS by searching the Orchid archives…
Bill is a frequent contributor to this community.

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


#5

I found this page while I was trying to match patina’s on Bronze
statues. Some are for Copper, others bronze and brass. Hope they are
of some help. good luck

http://www.coscosci.com/patinas/patinaformulas.htm

Brian


#6

Some of the most beautiful copper patinas I’ve seen have been
created by heat. I own the work of a collage artist who simply throws
thin sheet in her fireplace and gets a gorgeous red.

The Mendocino Art Center has a chart in the studio with various
pieces of heat-treated copper (I seem to remember a toaster oven, but
I might be dreaming). Next to each piece is the time and temperature
used to get the particular color–and one of the colors is magenta! I
think that would look gorgeous inlaid in silver. I hope to be up
there in less than a week–I will look at the chart and post more
info.

Of course, I have no idea what you’d need to do to preserve such a
patina, or how the process (or the necessary preservation) might
affect the silver. I leave that question to the experts. Always
wanted to know myself.

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
on the road…


#7
     Next to each piece is the time and temperature used to get
the particular color--and one of the colors is magenta! I think
that would look gorgeous inlaid in silver. Of course, I have no
idea what you'd need to do to preserve such a patina, or how the
process (or the necessary preservation) might affect the silver. I
leave that question to the experts. Always wanted to know myself. 

Hi Lisa: I have heat treated a number of raised copper bowls,
obtaining for some of them the beautiful magenta color you refer to.
The various colors are easily obtained by simply placing the piece in
your regular oven at around 350 degrees. Then watch very carefully.
After about 4 minutes you will begin to see the color changes taking
place. What I did was cut a sheet of copper (a small sheet) in
squares and then laid them all in a row in the oven. Each 5 minutes
or so I took out one of the samples and glued it on a sheet of
cardboard with the time it “baked”. That way I got a total spectrum
of colors from brown to gold to magenta to blue etc. It’s a fun
project. Naturally the length of time to achieve a color is directly
related to the gauge. Thicker gauge takes longer and a shaped piece
will take longer still as the entire piece heats up. Give it a try.
It’s fun.

As for protecting it - I waxed mine with plain old Johnson’s paste
wax and that was some 8 years ago and the finish is still as vibrant
as it was then. I have simply dusted the bowls off and from time to
time given them a new coat of wax.

Kay


#8

Miri

I do a lot of married metal pieces with copper or bronze combined
with sterling silver. I patinate the pieces with cupric nitrate and
heat until it turns from turquoise to black. I repeat this process
for about 3 or 4 applications to create a deep black. I then gently
scrub the piece with superfine steel wool. The cupric nitrate doesn’t
like to adhere to the sterling, so I end up with silver and black
patterns. You can get a brown colour by only applying one or two
solutions. You might want to try that.

Sandra


#9

Dear All;

Thanks for all the idea’s. The best thing to do now is try each and
see how it goes. Once again thank you.

Miri Elman