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2/7/2014 Formulas for the patinas we use - David M Bowman Studio

http://davidmbowman.com/patinas/formulas.htm#brown 1/4
Formulas for patinas we use
NOTE: read all safety information and take appropriate precautions before mixing or
using these formulas. They are to be used at your own risk.
Apple
Green
(cold
application)
3 oz. (85 grams) Cupric chloride
oz. (15 grams) Ammonium
chloride
1 pint (approx. liter) Water
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Recipe
Source
Add the chemicals to the water and stir with a
nonreactive implement. Brush or sponge the patina
all over the metal's surface, leaving it puddled all
over the piece. Allow to dry several hours or
overnight. Reapply gently, so as not to disturb the
first layer, which will be powdery. Reapply at least
one more time. Rinse surface gently.
Ronald D. Young gives this patina in his
book,Contemporary Patination (pp 69-70),
where he recommends different application
techniques than ours, and suggests ways of getting
many different color variations.
Discussion:
Apple Green
Liver-of-
sulphurblack
(Torch
technique)
approx. 50 grams Sulphurated
potash (Liver of sulphur)
1 liter water
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Recipe
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The amount of potash can be varied in a very wide
range to produce different densities of black. Grind
the potash in a mortar, add it to the water, and stir
with a nonreactive rod until the chemical is totally
dissolved. This patina is much-used on bronze
sculpture, but we currently use this patina only over
a layer of blue-green. In good ventilation, and
wearing a face-mask, heat the metal with a torch
until the solutionbrushed on with a soft brush
steams off instantly. Take care not to burn the
surface of the blue-green while applying the second
layer.
Our Dark Green patina, from which this formula
comes, is Hughes and Rowe's number 5.117 (p
296). It is a traditional patina, and is found many
other places as well.
Used in:
Dark Green &
Black
Black Ochre
200 grams Cupric nitrate
1 liter water
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Recipe
Source
2/7/2014 Formulas for the patinas we use - David M Bowman Studio
http://davidmbowman.com/patinas/formulas.htm#brown 2/4
Blue-green
(Torch
technique)
Grind the cupric nitrate in a mortar, add it to the
water, and stir with a nonreactive rod until the
chemical is totally dissolved. In good ventilation, and
wearing a face-mask, heat the metal with a torch
until the solutionbrushed on with a soft brush
steams off instantly, and leaves the color solid and
dry on the surface. If the metal is overheated, the
brush will stick and burn. If the color on the surface
is accidentally burnt black with the torch, the patina
may be simply reapplied to that area with good
results.
This is patina 5.116 inHughes and Rowe (p 296). It
is the least toxic, and one of the easiest to use, of the
many patinas which produce similar colors.
Description:
Blue-green
also used in:
White Blue-
green
Ochre &
White Ochre
Dark Green &
Black
Pigmented
patinas
Brown
(Torch
technique)
30 grams Ferric nitrate
1 liter water
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Recipe
Source
Add the ferric nitrate to the water and stir with a
nonreactive rod until the chemical is totally
dissolved. In good ventilation, and wearing a face-
mask, heat the metal with a torch until the solution
brushed on with a soft brushsteams off instantly.
The patina is very transparent, and must be built up
slowly.
This is based on patina 5.51 in Hughes and Rowe(p
280), but our formula (above) is three times the
strength given there, for quicker application.
Description:
Brown
Used in:
Ochre,
White Ochre,
& Black Ochre
Brown Mottle
Silver Brown
Mottle
(Sawdust
burial patina)
50g Ammonium Chloride
50g Sodium Chloride (salt)
150ml Ammonia
3 liters water
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Add the ammonia and other ingredients to the water
and stir until dissolved. Out of doors and out of
reach of children, soak sawdust or wood chips with
the liquid and bury the piece to be patinaed in the
wood chips, and wet it down with more of the
patina. Cover to slow evaporation. Check once or
twice a day to see how the patina is developing;
keep putting on more wood chips and/or patina
liquid to fill gaps. We find that the patina only
develops well on the upper surface where the chips
and liquid are resting, so you will need to rotate the
piece once its top is done to get each side in turn.
Usually it takes two to three days to develop a good
patina on brass, if you are assiduous in tending it and
Description:
Mottle
Used in:
Burnt Mottle
&
2/7/2014 Formulas for the patinas we use - David M Bowman Studio
http://davidmbowman.com/patinas/formulas.htm#brown 3/4
filling gaps.
Once the color has achieved good coverage, let the
piece dry out in the sun for a few hours,
thenwearing a mask and gloves brush off the
wood chips, back into the pile for reuse. You may
then go over the surface lightly with a scouring pad
to take away some of the powdery residue, if you
wish. Either before or after brushing it, you can burn
the patina with a torch. This should be done under
a fume hood and with eye and breathing protection.
This is based on patina 5.164 in Hughes and
Rowe (p 280), but our formula is a stronger variant
we adopted based on a mistaken formulation of the
patina by our friend, the sculptor Martin Metal.
Brown Mottle
Silverpatina
(Torch
technique)
approx. tsp. silver nitrate
approx. 1 cup water (250ml)
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Recipe
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This is a very easy patina to use - it sticks and reacts
well on brass. You shouldwear long sleeves and
gloves in addition to ordinary eye and face
protection when applying it, since splatters from the
the hot patina actively and semi-permanently
discolor skin and fingernails. Stir flakes or powder
of silver nitrate into water. It should dissolve easily.
Apply while heating the metal till the water steams
off as the patina is brushed on. Patterns can be
made with brushstrokes and puddling, but note that
much of the effect of these patterns comes from a
powdery surface layer, which can be smeared or
rinsed away. If you wish to keep the grey and white
effects as they stand when the surface is first cooled,
use a spray fixative. Otherwise, rinse the surface,
wearing rubber gloves to keep the residue off your
hands. Once it is rinsed and completely dry, it can
be waxed. Once the wax is dry, the surface can be
buffed to produce a shiny silver or silver-grey color,
sometimes dramatically different from the unbuffed
look.
Our silver patina was suggested by a fellow
craftsperson, but similar formulas can be found
many places, including Ron Young's book on page
54.
Description:
Silver patina
Used in:
Grey, Silver,
Silver Brown,
Stone Grey &
Silver Blue-
green
1 heaping tbsp bismuth nitrate
1 heaping tbsp titanium dioxide SAFETY
2/7/2014 Formulas for the patinas we use - David M Bowman Studio
http://davidmbowman.com/patinas/formulas.htm#brown 4/4
White
(Torch
technique)
1 heaping tbsp stannic oxide
approx. 1 liter water
(optional: several drops of sodium
silicate)
Suppliers
Recipe
Source
In the concentration we mix this patina, it is mostly
useful only for a transparent layer on top of other
patinas. In any case, it does not stick and react
strongly with bare brass. If you add the sodium
silicate, the patina will stick much better, and very
little if any will rinse off, at least when applied over
other patinas. If you do not include the sodium
silicate, rinse the patinaed object well under running
water and rub it with a cloth or a rubber-gloved
hand to remove the excess, or it will smear badly
when you seal the patina with wax. Experiment with
different concentrations, keeping the main three
ingredients in equal proportions.
This formula was given to us by a fellow sculptor,
Cheryl Barnett, but it closely follows a recipe given
by Ron Young on page 55.
Used in:
White Ochre
White Blue-
green
White Brown