Sunday, December 23, 2012

Alcohol Ink Patina on Metal Clay

As I got to the finishing stages of this series, I knew I wanted to really bring the texture out and that the best way to do that was with a patina.   Liver of Sulfur is a traditional way to get a variety of tones, but requires precise timing for colors beyond black and a strong stomach as it does stink up the immediate area.  In looking for another option, I began experimenting with alcohol ink on the recommendation of a friend and have really been happy with the results.  Alcohol inks are sold in the scrapbooking section of most craft stores.  They are a solvent based ink and work great on non-porous surfaces, from metal to glass to super glossy paper and they come in dozens of colors.  I wanted to antique this piece with turquoise tones to really draw on its references to the ocean.  I took my fired and polished pendant and just touched the tip of the ink bottle to the surface and let the ink run through the crevices of the texture.  It only takes a few moments to dry and then I start buffing it off with a super fine piece of steel wool.  I also like to dab a little on my maker's mark on the back to pronounce it a little more.  I clean up edges and brushes (if I use them) with rubbing alcohol.  Remember to protect anything you don't want to be stained by this ink, such as findings or stones.  Since I am using the ink as a patina that sits down inside the texture and all the ink has been removed from the surface, I do not seal it because it is no more likely to rub off than a liver of sulfur or other such patina.  

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