Writing my last post got me thinking about metal-colors, so I thought I’d post a few more pictures.
The first photo, at the right, shows a piece with alternating strips of copper and bronze. (In two places, there’s a mixed-metal layer sandwiched in there too, where I used clay containing small, leftover scraps of copper and bronze kneaded together: can you spot them? Click the photo if you want a larger image.) The piece was polished pretty well although, given the tools I have available, the only way I know to get it super-shiny would have also obliterated the slight waves between the layers, so I made a choice when to stop. I wanted to leave a bit of the natural variations between the alternating strips, and I’m happy with the slight satin finish overall.
After a good polishing, it’s almost impossible to distinguish the different metals. So I then used a product called Baldwin’s Patina to bring back the contrast between the polished metals. The copper should continue to darken, very slowly; the bronze may eventually age a bit too, but that should happen even more gradually.
The second photo, left, shows an all-copper piece I made several weeks later, another one of my “draped metal” designs. Can you tell I’m having fun with these?! It’s especially delightful when I work with Hadar’s copper clay, since that one has a texture that feels almost like silk: soft and luxurious to work with!
The draped portion has a very light, random, texture (from sandpaper). After being fired, it was given a light polishing (with those 3M radial bristle disks I’ve mentioned in some previous posts), and then left to age naturally (much as a copper penny will darken over time). At this point, the shiny ball elements do seem ever so slightly paler than the textured area. Overall, however, the piece has darkened more (more quickly) than has the smoother, patina-treated piece shown above. Go figure….