Sunday, September 9, 2012

Giving it a little try

Of the craft blogs I browse, I have a handful that constantly inspire me.  One of those is Dawn Edmonson's The Feathered Nest.  Whether it's a new project, tutorial, or just some adorable vintage baby pictures, she always has something nice to look at and try!

In a recent post, she mentioned a formula for aging metal scrapbooky bits.  I wondered this morning if that would also work on some metal jewelry elements.  Thinking of yesterday's fixation on brooch bouquets and wreaths, I had visions of aging some long-unused metal elements and working them en masse into a new project.

These elements are a mishmosh - found objects, bits of scavenged jewelry, buttons, chain scraps - anything! I kept them in an old pyrex mixing bowl for ages and I would sift through them when looking for something metal.  But I tired of the mix.  I longed to downsize it and make room for some new goodies.  I try to be really frugal with craft supplies, but sometimes stuff just aint' gonna get used.  And I refuse to hang onto it, at least in its present form.  So if I can't use, repurpose, or donate, into the recycle bin it goes.  Or the garbage if it must.  I try very hard not to be unreasonably frugal or overly sentimental.

But!  These metal bits I had - it seemed a shame to cast them away wholesale, especially when I could experiment a bit.  So I sifted through them, picked out a handful of still-useful elements, carefully removed any truly sentimental bits.  Then I followed Dawn's recipe and set the bucket outside to let chemistry do its work.  That was about an hour ago, so in another hour, I'll go check on it.

Until then, I will sit here with the dogs, watching Cosmos, and trying to glean some sort of idea of the next Doctor Who episode.  It's a full night!

If the bit of alchemy on my front stoop turns out ok, or at least fascinatingly bad, I'll post a photo!

UPDATE:  Images!

Well, it's 11:00 pm my time, and I have just brought in the "experiments".  I did not expect such an evil-looking brew!  And boy, did it stink!  Stupidly, I put the ingredients together in the bucket *before* leaving the house, thinking that mixing chemicals late at night on the front stoop might lead to weird looks.  That was wrong to do, because that's a nasty mixture!  But after 2 hours, stuff happened.

All the bits, in various stages of patina:

Some things took it well - this used to be shiny brass.  But the little rhinestone trinket that snuck in there was untouched despite a chemical bath!

A lot of pieces revealed rosy hues under their coats.  This former earring, I don't know what metal it is, but it took an interesting color.

The formerly "silver" napkin ring in the foreground here got really nice and dark - that will look really cool with some beads!

Another former earring that got some character.  From boring shininess to rust in two hours!

A range of pieces, some changed, some not.  I roughed up a lot of surfaces first by filing, but not on all the objects, since not all had big enough surfaces.

Altogether a success!  Everything's too irregular to go into a bouquet without a *lot* of work.  I'm really forseeing a wreath with the more deeply patina'd elements.  I have a handful of grapevine wreaths that need using up (to justify buying more, you see!), so I think I'll start gluing later this week.  I'd love to put some sea glass with these really industrial looking pieces, for contrast.  We'll see what happens, though!

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