Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Heat patina on stainless steel

Patinating metal using a torch is so much fun. I've tried both copper and stainless steel and really like the colours I can get on the latter. Here's just one example where I've used a dragon pendant I bought in a bead shop. Degreased it a bit and then I just heated it with my butane torch, making sure I kept moving the torch over the whole pendant.

I still can't control the outcome exactly, but it's a lot of fun so I don't mind if the result differs from want I wanted. For my first try, I used a thin steel sheet I picked up at the local craft shop. Very useful as there was room to experiment and test in what order the colours would appear. As you can see in my two photos, the back of the pendant also changed colour, but not as much as the front, where the heat was directed.

If you want instructions, you can find them e.g. at the M.A.I.L website. It not only covers "torching" but also how to heat metal in an oven or kiln etc. There's also an article on heat colouring jump rings using a skillet and stove top.

And one thing: if you try this, make sure you know what metal you're using. For example, never, ever heat galvy steel as you might release nasty zinc fumes. You really don't want to inhale those! Some stainless steel items in bead and jewellery shops are also chrome plated -- something that isn't always mentioned in the descriptions...

1 comment:

  1. Oh I'm loving this dragon. I think he liked to be torched. Dragons and fire, you know. The patina looks great.


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