2014 December

From the monthly archives:

December 2014

patina on copper

December 7, 2014

It hasn’t been always my interest to explore patination, however, recently I have been experiencing great urge to play with exactly this technique. I think it was a results of seeing some exciting patination samples by Nadya Van Ewyk that she has produced for one of her projects while studying  Jewellery and Object Design at Design Centre Enmore.

I suppose it is usual to experience changes in aesthetics as one learns, makes and see more.

In my sampling, I have specifically focused on using commonly available substances that one can find in regular household. I didn’t want to use any nasty chemicals and then worry about its correct disposal.  I have also focused mostly on green and blue patinas. There are many more colors that can be achieved, but that is to be explored next time.

Here are ingredients and equipment that I used:

Rock sea salt

White vinegar


Grass hay

Plastic containers


Silicon gloves

Fume mask

Note :  make sure you use silicon gloves, fume mask and work in well-ventilated area when playing with ammonia.


Here is how it went:

Sample 1 –  blue/green patina

Use: 3 parts ammonia, one part vinegar and soak in it grass hay. I have place the infused hay onto the copper sheet and leave in sealed container for two days.


Sample 2 – green patina (turned out to be blue)

Use: 2 parts white viniger, 1.5 parts ammonia, 0.5 parts table salt.

I have soaked cotton rug in the solution and wrapped around the metal. Then I wrapped it in cling wrap and sealed in plastic bag and left for two days.


Sample 3 – blue patina

Use: ammonia and rock salt soaked in vinegar.  Place the infused rock salt on tho the metal and elevate in the container above the ammonia. I have used two larger rocks to support the metal above the surface of the ammonia. Then I left it in seal container for two days.




Sample 4 – black/brown patina

Use: vinegar. Place metal above the surface of the vinegar in sealed container and leave it there for two days.



Sample 5 –  green patina

This sample has happened purely accidentally when I was doing some electro etching.  I used this strip of copper for anode and submerged it in salt and water electrolyte for about 12 hours.

Very cool result I would say.


When patina is ready, open the container, remove the copper sheet and let air dry. Then gently rinse metal under running tap water and dry with cotton cloth. You can also use Renaissance wax to seal the surface. Make sure you apply the wax with cotton cloth gently “tapping” on to the metal rather than rubbing it in (you can accidentally rub of the patina).



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