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Patinas on mokume

I am hoping someone can help me. I have a twist pattern mokume bangle
bracelet of nickel silver, copper and brass. In the book Mokume Gane
A Comprehensive Study by Steve Midgett on page 22 there is a barrette
by Stephen Walker, I’m interested in the coloring of the red and rich
yellow/gold tone. I think that is the copper and brass which has been
patinaed (I may be wrong). Can anyone recommend a solution or receipe
for a patina to get these results.


there is a barrette by Stephen Walker, I'm interested in the
coloring of the red and rich yellow/gold tone. I think that is the
copper and brass which has been patinaed 

Sorry I am late in answering. I am not Steve Walker, but I took an
excellent workshop from him at Peter’s Valley on Mokume and Married
Metals two years ago. Steve likes to use heat to make his patina - no
chemicals. The bright reds are from copper. Steve taught us to clean
the metal completely and put it into a clean toaster oven that was
preheated to 400 degrees F. Watch it carefully and pull it out when
you hit the shades you want. All sorts of other colors can also be
obtained depending on the heat, time in the oven, and alloy. The
toaster oven produces a more even heat than a torch and is cheap ($20
or so at Target) Yes, the heat patina will not last forever, but take
your pictures while the colors are at a peak and enjoy them for a
while thereafter. Chemically created patina (such as salt and LOS) is
not permanent either. (except for grey and black)

Mitch Adams

Sorry I let Paul’s post slip by. Mitch Adams has my formula
absolutely right. Oven at 400 F. The polished copper will first turn
orange, then a sort of magenta red. The orange is not very durable,
but the darker magenta holds fairly well. Depending on what you use
to clean your work, you may have some residues that will prevent this
from happening cleanly. My ultrasonic solution seems to be a problem,
so I have to wipe with alcohol after cleaning. Straight out of the
tumbler with RIO’s 910 burnishing compound works just perfect. If you
over heat, or heat too long it starts to turn brown and icky. If that
happens, pickel and try again.

A light coat of wax (I use car wax) will keep the finish longer, but
it does take the intensity off the color slightly. Since that very
vibrant color does not last and will mellow into a more natural,
browner patina with handling, I feel it is better as far as keeping
the customers expectations realistic. It can last for years or turn
brown in a few days, depending on perspiration, light, care and
personal chemistry. My care card describes how the patina will mellow
with time and makes care suggestions along the lines of benign
neglect, since this sort of material looks better if it is not
polished too often. All you have to know is that “tarnish” is a dirty
word, but “patina” is an art word!

Steve Walker