Browsing the internet a couple of weeks ago which I tend to do when there's something else I really should be doing (the ironing) but don't really want to do (the ironing), I came across some Ranger patina inks by Vintaj. They looked really interesting and a great way to add some colour to metal. Intrigued I visited the Vintaj site which in my head I now pronounce as "vintaaj" after hearing how the American lady on the Vintaj video said it as she was demonstrating how to use the inks :D
It looked really easy to use - apply with a brush, let it dry for a few minutes then sand off. You can mix colours to create your own shades, add a drop of glaze to dilute the colour slightly and also use the glaze to seal the effect when you've finished. Of course I had to try them so I ordered the "Weathered Copper" turquoise/green set and the glaze from a UK website.They are designed to be used with Vintaj findings and filigree beads which look fantastic but you can use your imagination if you can't afford Vintaj stuff!
The earrings above are one of the first things I made using them. I textured and domed the discs then painted on the turquoise ink diluted with a drop of glaze. The patina inks work better on textured/filigree designs than plain metal and are much easier to remove if the piece is domed or round. Vintaj recommend using their reliefing block but I found using fine sandpaper or even wiping off the excess while it was still wet with kitchen roll depending on the piece worked just fine as long as you don't mind ending up with very colourful fingers.
My problem was that I don't like my jewellery with a bright copper finish and always oxidise it. Sanding the excess patina ink off left the copper lovely and bright and at that point I wasn't sure if the patina ink would take being dunked in liver of sulphur.........so I thought I'd try heat patinating the copper (possibly an even worse option!) but it worked! A few swishes with my micro torch over the ink then concentrating around the the discs (not directly on the ink) and the copper turned a lovely golden colour, a quick quench and the patina effect was fine. Very cool. I've since tried it in liver of sulphur and that works too with no ill-effect - even more cool! The patina effect is stuck pretty fast on the metal and will only come off if attacked vigorously with a sharp pointy object which is fairly unlikely.
Here's a few other things I've made so far and I've just ordered the pink/purple set which is in the post as I write!
••• Warning! •••
lots of photos!
I stamped the design, applied the inks, removed the excess with kitchen roll, sanded then textured and oxidised
copper washer earrings
curvy triangle earrings
antique bronze tone links I was selling on eBay then decided I couldn't compete price-wise with the Chinese wholesalers so decided to do "something" with them!
pure copper bead earrings
copper diamonds with green patina effect