Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Patina and decoupage

Because of work, I haven't felt like starting a new project. Instead, when time has permitted, I've just experimented with bead-weaving ideas, played with patinas and colouring etc. Here are a few things I did today. The round tags are bronze and the flower vines are brass.

I've been thinking about combined patinas lately, what with the gesso and heat patina stamping here and the heat patina'd vinegar etched/buried patina stamping here. Therefore I picked out two of the tags from this experiment and added a peanut oil heat patina. (As a comparison, see these tags, which are just peanut oil with no prior patination.)

The dark tag above is almost burnt peanut oil on a "buried patina" (= leave metal in vinegar soaked sawdust).  [UPDATE: mixed up the info so here's the correct description of the tags.]  I'd polished the patina off with fine steel wool to get a shiny, textured surface so it was textured but not patinated when oiled. I also dabble with a second tag where the etched and slightly verdigris surface wasn't treated in any way before brushing on the oil. No pics of the front that one (i.e. the side the heat was applied on) -- but below you can see the back of it. I liked the softed colours it got.

These pics are macro shots: the actual size of the bronze tags is 17,5 mm in diametre.

If you've read this Manekis Pärlblogg post, you might've seen the branches below. I wasn't satisfied with the gesso finish so I dipped the whole thing in oil (rapeseed, not peanut this time) and heated it. Carefully as I'm not sure it's a good idea to torch acrylic-based gesso.

Nothing special, but I think it's an improvement. It's much darker, but you can still see some of the gesso, especially on the flowers.

And then, finally, a WIP photo.

One day I said to myself: "well, I've had this decoupage glue for textiles forever, when will I actually use it? Napkin decouapage on a piece of fabric could be a good foundation of embroidery or bead embroidery and I am looking for some fun, exciting and unusual surfaces to stitch on. If I don't do it today I'll probably never get around to it." So I found a cotton fabric scrap and a rose patterned tissue and begun work. It's one of those boring techniques were you have to wait for the glue to dry for 24 hours before heat setting it and being able to use it.

Now it is heat set and dried, but it's still laying around as I'm not sure what to do with it. Thinking jewellery (bracelet), but how do I want to embellish it? Could leave it as is, but using the decoupage as a surface was the original idea and I want something fun to stitch on... This is one of the bits and bobs laying around that I hope to be able to devote some time to after midsummer.

Apart from embroidery of various kinds, I'm really, really looking forward to some patina and colourisation sessions this summer. I'm obsessed with those two things, embroidery with or without beads and colour on metal, right now. (One patina I want to try soon, after seeing this, is heat patina on rusted steel and then of cause I'm dying to try coloured pencils and perhaps add some distress embossing.)

To end this post, another pic that'll appear on my other blog later this week: gold wax on black brass stamping (no, it's not Gilder's Paste). The wax really brings out the details, which the original shiny black finish didn't.


  1. Interesting WIP. I'm really curious to see what you are going to create. I've been thinking of using decoupaged roses on fabric as a pattern for silk ribbon embroidery. Like di van Niekerks printed patterns. I even bought glue and some lovely tissues.I've been procrastinating such a long time that I'm afraid my glue is dry. I think I'll give it a try.

    1. I'm interested in seeing it too -- I have no idea! *lol* (not right now, anyway.)

      I like your idea about ribbon embroidery on decoupaged fabric (have Niekerk's rose book so I know the technique you're referring to). Would be interesting to see the results!


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