Foundations in Metalsmithing: Bracelets


Lesson Info

Patinas: Green and Blue Liquid Patinas

So now let's talk about some greens and blues. So, as I mentioned, we have two different kind of application methods for the blues and the greens, and I am the kind of person who doesn't always believe that the labels are necessarily right. So I'm gonna show you guys three little samples, and then we'll talk about kind of how to make them happen. So, we've got two different shades of green here that are similar, and then this sort of really bluey color that's happening in the middle where, in fact, this was the cleanest. It's a little, its coming out a little dark on our screen. It's actually a very iridescent blue in person, so it's a pretty cool color. So, my preference in terms of patinas I actually like to work with are this middle green and this blue, which are the ones from Rio Grande, so this is, this is the real ronde green patina and then this one is the real ronde blue, it's called blue oxidizer. So both of these say that they are meant for immersion, but the green, which is ...

really kind of a blue green, can actually be painted on if you let it sort of hang out. So when I think about bracelets and patinas, I really recommend only patinaing the outside on something like these blues. You can see they're a little bit of like a crusty color, like they do a little bit of surface to them, if you've ever seen like verdigris or things like that, that's what this really essential is, and so you really don't want that on the inside of a bracelet. So, immersion techniques make it a little bit trickier, because obviously you're soaking the whole thing in. So if I can, with a bracelet I like to do a little bit of a painted technique. But, because these need a little bit of time to actually oxidize, you wanna be able to sort of paint it and lay it on like, let it sit on. Trying to find a way to see if I can keep this guy standing. Maybe, magic. There we go, perfect, alright. So, I'm gonna take our green patina, and this Jack Screen patina works pretty similar to this other one. You can see it gets a little bit greener in color, but it also tends to not be as nice. Like, it wants to not really stick, it wants to peel off the surface a little bit more. So, I find I kind of tend to prefer this Midas Green patina. And with all of these patinas, it's really important that you read the surface, not the surface, read the instructions right? Read them, look for safety instructions, figure that all out, but then with this one, and that smells horrible by the way, basically smells like ammonia, probably because there's ammonia in it, I'm sure. But so, with this one we just kind of want to paint it on, but then let it hang out on our surface. And what we should see over time, is that it should start to develop. So we're just gonna let that guy hang out for a second. And while that guy is hanging out, we're gonna put a lid on because that is strong, we're gonna use our blue color, yeah, also wash your hands when you're done with that. We're gonna do a little emersion on our blue patina here. Let's see, what can I actually get to fit? We'll just immerse half of it. So I did find, particularly with this blue patina, that it really needs a clean surface. If it's not clean, it seems like it really doesn't want to adhere. So, our blue is starting to dry up and as this dries up it's gonna start to turn into our green color hopefully. It's like chemistry, magic happening up here. So, because this kind of, this blue oxidizer, doesn't really work on clean metal, we can maybe pl-- Or dirty metal, we can maybe play that to our advantage if we don't want the blue to be on the inside of this bracelet. Like, let's see what happens if we don't clean the inside. Patinas are definitely one of those things where it's really like, a little bit mad sciency right? Some chemistry and some reactions, so again, testing everything out first, and then just sort of playing around. And, this blue oxidizer, is as far as I can tell, reusable. So, putting it in like, this little beaker is really nice 'cause then we can just pour it back in the bottle. Not everything is reusable, but this seems to be. So let's see, if we dunk that guy in there, get that out of our way, and then we're just gonna let that hang out for a little bit. And again, that's this blue guy that's happening here. So we're just gonna let that, so that's this guy on the end. So we're gonna let that hang out for a second, we're gonna let this guy hang out for a second. Most of these take a little bit of time. So, for immersing, if you didn't want to have it on the inside, have you ever heard of maybe putting Vaseline or something to resist, would that work? So, I don't know if if I would put Vaseline, because I'm not sure how it would impact, but what you could actually potentially do, is do something like clean the inside to whatever surface finish you wanted, and then put a clear lacquer on it right away, which we're gonna talk about like, the Sculpt Nouveaus right? Sculpt Nouveau also makes a paintable lacquer. So I would probably just put a lacquer on it first, and then try dunking it. But again, I would just do a sample first. Okay, thanks. Yeah, but I would worry about Vaseline maybe contam-- Even though it's suppose to no-- It's suppose to resist, I would still worry about it contaminating. Other questions, so far, as we wait for magic to happen here. Yeah. I was gonna ask a question about like, using a resist too. Like in the liver of sulfur, is there anything you can put on there to keep it from changing it. So, the same thing. I would say like if you wanted something to be the bare metal, you could put it on there, other than that, you know, I don't know if you could use like a tape that has, it would have to be some kind of waterproof tape I think, something that's got a plastic quality to it, you could experiment with that. Okay, but-- I would say the thing with all of this stuff is, again, you're not gonna break it, so just try it. Worst case scenario, you ruined a little batch of liver of sulfur, so. Yeah, none of these patinas are, I think every one of these bottles was like 15 bucks. So none of this stuff is very expensive. So you can really play around with it. How many different variations of colors are there? Do you ever mix colors to create your own colors? So, the, really good questions. In terms of patinas, it's pretty much an infinite amount. So, this is something you are super excited about, there is a book, I believe it's just called Color and Patination on Metals, but it's been awhi-- I can picture the cover but I can't picture the title, so try to search it, if it's something you're real interested in. I will try to like, tweet it out later. I'll find it online and tweet it out for you guys. And if I don't, someone remind me. So, that has like, hundreds of color recipes. So there's really a lot. I would not recommend mixing any of these things, because it's chemistry. It's not like paint. It's chemistry. And I think that's the most important thing to understand here, is it's all about chemical reactions as opposed to surface paint. Now that said, you could layer the application. So you could do something like, liver of sulfur this, which we did, and then, I might need something a little more aggressive here, let me grab some sand paper. I could actually clean parts of this back off with some sandpaper. So, let's say, this is probably too aggressive sandpaper, but I could clean some of this off with some sandpaper, so maybe I do a little spot there, and then I could come back in with something I could paint on, so our green patina, which is looking very blue at the moment... Oh, smells so bad. Keep, it's like it surprises me every time. So then I could paint this on here, and maybe let that react, so you could experiment with, you know, different things like that. So, I would say instead of mixing, think about playing with layering instead.

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!
  • 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.