Patinas: Creating a Heat Patina


Foundations in Metalsmithing: Bracelets


Lesson Info

Patinas: Creating a Heat Patina

With a heat patina, that's a way of achieving more like oranges and reds, and this example here was actually done as far as I can remember, it's a little bit hard let's tip it here, this kind of orangy color was actually done using a heat patina. So as we talked about before, metal changes color when we heat it up. And we can actually use that to our advantage to create patinas. So the other beautiful thing about a heat patina is it's really kind of a trial or error process but if you don't like the results of a heat patina, you can just stick it in the pickle, let it get clean, take it back out, start all over again. Thank you. So there are two ways to do a heat patina. One is with torch, the other one is with a kiln or an oven. So I want to show you guys a heat patina with a torch really quick and then we'll talk about using the oven. So there's no, just like everything else we want to get our surface nice and clean on this one. So you can kind of get away with a little bit less beca...

use the heats going to burn the oil off, but you also don't know if the oil is going to do weird things in terms of the color. So, when we're thinking about a heat patina with a torch, literally this is about heating the metal as slow as possible to see if we can get any kind of color change. So I think we can drop the lights maybe. I didn't practice this at home so it's been a little while. So I'm keeping my torch really low because otherwise it's going to go past too fast and I am just going to try so sometimes if you're on point with your heat patina game you can get these kind of blues to come out in addition to your oranges but they are a really unstable color. Let's see if we can get them. (man) Unstable color. So basically, when I say it's unstable what I mean is as soon as you try to seal it or protect it in any way, the blue just disappears. (man) Thank you. Yeah. I feel like this is a whole lot of, we see some color, see that blue starting to creep in there? I don't know if you guys can see that, right in there there's a little bit of blue. It's a little hard to tell because our lights are blue. But there's a little bit of blue starting in. You'll see it start to creep. It's like creeping in very slowly. I know it's a little hard with these lights. But this is one of those where you can kind of play around and experiment with some colors. Now I don't recommend, go ahead and turn that off, we can turn the lights back up and let's see what that looks like. This is actually one where it might be a little easier to see with more lights on but you can actually see maybe that we're, so glary, that backfired. We're starting to get some other colors happening here. Like the bluey, purpley, there's some stuff happening there. We don't want to quench this; you want to let it air cool. So you can play with the torch and kind of play to get these sort or iridescent colors but you're always going to have a little bit of inconsistency. So if you really want this even, all over color, your best bet is to actually use a kiln or an oven so you can actually use your toaster oven or even your home oven for this because it's just copper, it's brass, it's bronze as long as there's no grease or anything on it, it's not going to hurt it and we're taking it out really slowly. So you can put it in a toaster oven and actually watch these color changes happen. You can go from like the blues to the oranges, it's a real, I'm so excited, it's a really fun game. So what I like about heat patinas is as kind of fun as this other stuff is, there some pretty strong chemicals. Heat patinas let you get some of those oranges and those reds literally with no chemicals. But again that said, not all the colors stay when you go to seal it, when you put like a spray or something on it, some of these colors drop out. So with everything, whether it's a heat patina or these liquid patinas, I recommend using scrap pieces of metal to test this before doing it on your finished project. All right, so are there questions about heat patinas? That's a fun one to just play with so if that's something that you guys are like, oh that sounds fun, I recommend just doing it. Yeah, grab the mike. So if you were to do it in your toaster oven, would you want a low temperature so like set at 200? I would still set it at like three to 350, but I might also do some tests, like get some scrap out. It's been a long time since I've actually done a heat patina in a toaster oven so I would say play with it, but I want to say usually I was in the three to four hundred range. And just really keep an eye on it because sometimes it flashes through colors really quickly and so you start to kind of understand, oh this is what color it's going to be next and then oh, I missed it, so you really want to pay attention to that.

Class Description

Whether you’re just getting started in metalsmithing or have been experimenting for years, Foundations in Metalsmithing: Bracelets will help you deepen your skills while exploring the exciting world of bracelets. From torchless techniques (like forming and riveting) to more advanced concepts (like hinges), you’ll walk out of this class with a heap of new metalsmithing skills! (And a pile of new bracelets).

In this class, jewelry designer and metalsmith Megan Auman will help you build your metalsmithing skills in a way that’s completely approachable - no matter what level you’re currently at.

You will learn how to:

  • Create unique cuff bracelets by forming wire and sheet.
  • Join metal without a torch by riveting.
  • Solder wire and sheet into different shapes.
  • Make hinges (with or without a torch) to take your bracelet designs to the next level.
  • Finish your designs and experiment with color on metal through patinas.

Whether you’re looking to grow your existing jewelry making knowledge or for a new creative outlet that you can proudly wear (and show off!), you’ll leave Foundations in Metalsmithing: Bracelets with a series of bracelets you can call your own - and a new set of metalsmithing skills you can expand into even more jewelry ideas!



This is a great addition to Megan's metalsmithing series. She makes the topic really approachable. Bonus that metal patinas were added in to the class. I loved the class!

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this class! It was very informative and gave me a lot of ideas for expanding a jewelry line to include a variety of bracelets and finishes.