Fun with chemistry

After a weekend off for the Purim holiday, I am ready to start blogging again. In an earlier post, I said that I wanted to focus my turning on more artistic pieces, and to be more specific, “artsy fartsy” was the language I used. So for this artsy fartsy piece, I used my gilding and chemical patina kit for the first time.

I started out using a piece of olive wood and making it into a hollow vessel with a walnut rim. It stands about 7 ¼” tall and reminds me of a classic Grecian form.

Ready for gilding

Since the olivewood was a gift and it has a nice figure, I wanted to show off the nice grain and only cover part of the wood with the metal leaf.

For the gilding and patination, I taped off the section of the vessel that would be covered, then applied the sizing (leaf adhesive). Next, I applied oddly shaped pieces of pure gold leaf and Dutch metal leaf in the taped off section. Dutch metal is a form of brass which is an alloy of 84% copper and 16% zinc. It is very malleable and ductile and can be beaten into very thin sheets.

The Gold and Dutch Metal leaf applied

The Dutch metal, unlike pure gold will tarnish, so I used Sodium Sulfide to make red and orange patinas on the Dutch metal. I also used a combination of Ammonium Chloride and Cupric Nitrate Solution to oxidize the Dutch metal to create a greenish aged bronze color. I did get some of the greenish color, but not as much as I hoped for. I think I needed to leave that Solution on longer, but with practice I’ll figure all this stuff out.

Completed piece

I would have been finished with the project on Thursday afternoon, but I had an issue with the finish I used. I tried a clear acrylic spray finish and after two coats it looked great, but I got a bit heavy handed on the third coat and caused a drip. So I had to wait for it to completely dry then sanded it off on Friday and finally got the finish corrected.

I really enjoyed applying the metal leaf and I am really excited about doing this again. I have loads of ideas so I hope I have a lot more of these pieces to come.

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About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in In Yaakov's Workshop and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fun with chemistry

  1. bob says:

    I am looking forward to seeing it.

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