This was an experiment, my first in the category of paper folds and also first try for an ammonia patina.  These are my colors, baby!  I'm officially addicted. 
Here is a link to the day Charles covered paper derived foldforms at the recent conference.
And here is a link to notes about the patina, from the same conference. 
For a whole bunch of patina information, here is a link to notes by Charles Lewton-Brain. 

Over on the foldforming facebook page there were some questions about this fold and the copper patina process, so lets put a little more detail in this post.  

The fold is the Eckland #2 and can be found on page 144 of Foldforming, by Charles Lewton-Brain.    You can probably see in the photo that only the ends are really 3-dimensional.  The entire cuff was originally puffed out, but as Charles teaches, any fold can become a line fold.  Just on a whim, this cuff is all hammered flat except for two sections at one end, and one section at the other.  The ends are cut round.

As for the patina, it's fumed in ammonia and then painted with hydrogen peroxide, exactly the way Charles demonstrated at the conference, here.  Really go see because it illustrates the flexibility of your choices... he used a take-out container because it was on hand... but here is what I'm using:
The container I found for fuming is so awesome it warrants a close-up view.  All of you might not have access to this, but it's an empty plastic baby formula container with a nice tight seal.  The seal is not critical to the process, but it sure helps contain the nasty ammonia smell!  


cute baby alert...
(sorry, couldn't resist.)
Anyway, here were the steps:
**and make sure you have proper ventilation***
  1. Begin with pickled copper.  Pickle isn't in the photo but basically you just need very clean copper.  Your first time out, use some scrap!
  2. Wash the copper with dish washing liquid mixed with a drop of ammonia, just to get it even cleaner.
  3. Pour a little ammonia (I used about 1/2") in the bottom of the Similac container.
  4. Put the little plastic platform in the container upside-down, right into the ammonia. The platform I used was the bottom of a shampoo bottle.  Note that most of the platform is NOT submerged... this is a fuming process not a dunking process.
  5. Hold your clean copper only by the edges, possibly even with latex gloves on (although I didn't do that) so as not to transfer fingerprints or oils to the piece.
  6. Dunk your piece in a saltwater solution.   I probably used a couple teaspoons of salt in 1/2 cup water but that's completely made up.  DON'T sprinkle salt right on the piece.  It will mottle the color and can pit the metal.  Note: salt is not required, but it speeds up the process.  The water IS required, though.    
  7. Place the copper piece onto the (shampoo bottle) platform and close the lid tight.
  8. In a few hours, take the piece out.  There will be a lot of color.  Run it under water and gently go over it with a soft toothbrush.  Try not to cry as a lot of the color comes right off.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 every few hours until you're happy with the color coverage.  This one was "finished" in about 2 days.  I would call the color a deep teal, I think.
  10. Optionally at the end, brush on a little diluted hydrogen peroxide.  (I didn't actually dilute it here... so play with that mixture as you like.)  Those areas will turn green, and the overall effect is kind of a rich ocean blend.
  11. Wash off your piece right away to stop the process.  It can turn black, if I remember correctly... 
  12. My piece isn't clear coated yet but here is a link where Charles describes his favorite products for that.

Update #2:
Ten days later tried to use the leftover ammonia in the 'airtight' container, thinking it would work on another piece.  No go.  It no longer smelled strong and after a few hours there was no color on the piece.  Tossed it and poured fresh ammonia, which worked.  This was a surprise to me!

Update #3:  Here's a little tip -- there are no 2nd chances on step #6.  I forgot and put the pieces in dry, and the blue color just puddled up underneath.  The piece gets kind of an antique patina instead of blue.  At this point it's too late to dunk the piece into saltwater -- it's like starting with a dirty piece, and it just doesn't work.  Need to completely clean it up and start again.  **However** if you want a bit of an antique patina, give it a try dry :-)     
Comments welcome.

August 2012 on SueLacy Wired is dedicated to the 5th annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference on Foldforming, taking place Aug 3-6 at the Center for Metal Arts in downstate NY.  To view the series, click category "5th Annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference" in the far right column on this page.
(Are you a metalsmith interested in foldforming?  Join our official Facebook group.)  



08/22/2012 12:02pm

Wow, Sue! Gorgeous work and what a wealth of info. I'm going to peruse all the links later when I'm not on my phone. Thanks for sharing!

08/22/2012 12:38pm

Thanks Sue, I hope you don't mind if I post this on my blog, with full credit to you of coarse....

08/22/2012 1:04pm

Thank you, Leslie and Eva!
Eva, I'd love for you to include a little bit of introduction on your blog and a link to the rest, here... this is a direct link to this post:
And thanks for the interest!! :-)

08/22/2012 3:07pm

Thanks for the great information Sue. This piece is awesome.

08/22/2012 6:53pm

Thanks so much, Linda!

08/22/2012 8:34pm

Thank you for walking thru the process, beautiful piece

08/22/2012 11:19pm

Norma, it was my pleasure and thank you! :-)

08/23/2012 2:13am

Thank you for this wonderful post!!! Love your blog!

08/23/2012 10:12am

Beautiful bracelet... love the form and the color. Thanks so much for the info. I must join your foldforming group. Loveit!

11/17/2012 10:01am

Dear Sue! Thank you, Thank you!! I am just starting out making jewelery with metal (starting out with brass) and i am very very interrested in working with patinas.. though here in Sao Paulo-Brasil there are not a lot of people who work with it as far as i know. I am learning a lot from your blog and of course from Charles Lewton-Brain! May I ask you if immersing the brass in ammonia (bathing it in salt-water beforehand) would also work for a patina? uff.. so many questions. Thank you ! All the best Alex

12/17/2012 6:19am

Thanx Sue, for the Detailed Description! =D) See you on FB! Mx


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