Monday, December 31, 2007

3 hours to the new year

It's nine PM on the west coast, and we move back to the states tomorrow. I'm up in the hotel with a bit of a headache, waiting for the move to be over. Today I let in the cleaning crew into our old house, watched the Price is Right with Drew Carey & Beyond Planet of the Apes, came back & steam cleaned our old house's carpet, dropped off the cleaner, hit the driving range with my friends, got dinner at Boston Pizza, and waited for my daughter to go to sleep. I'll probably get to bed before midnight too.

What does this have to do with the art project? Not much, but the good news is once I'm back in my old house in the states, it will be easier to do things like make a kiln from scratch, fire pit, etc.

Happy new year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Vinegar + Copper = different types of Green!

I haven't added to this blog for waaay too long! The reason? I was laid off in late October, and was looking for a job for a little while. It was hard to justify playing with copper, bamboo, and crushed egg shells when I had to pay the bills. But, I found one (really looking forward to this new company!) and will be moving back to the states in a FEW FREAKING DAYS. I'm looking forward to being moved in, but I'm going to miss my Canadian friends, cheap golf & poutine.

I'm in the moving eye of the hurricane right now, with nearly everything in boxes, including the project. I have one new update: A vinegar/copper test matrix! So, if you've been following the entries, you'll see that I took a patina recipe online, and kept testing it to see what ingredients were actually needed. The original recipe was ammonia, salt & white vinegar. I found that anything with salt made the pigment too clumpy when mixed with walnut oil. Ammonia didn't really help much, and I think I read somewhere that Ammonia + copper = some type of carcinogenic substance (I'm probably wrong; I have NO chemistry background, and I was tired). It turned out that just white vinegar & copper made some really nice blue-green crystals, which mixed really well with walnut oil. (A horrible patina, but a great pigment).

Since white vinegar is not going to be as easy to make as apple vinegar, I decided to try a range of vinegars to see what I could get. I also tried balsamic vinegrette, but it just turned to muck.

The results: four different shades of green! I re-did the white vinegar, and the results are very similar (I have a comparison shot, but am too tired/is not enough room/am saving it for the coffee table book).

I'm guessing the impurities are causing the color changes. No matter, they all look great! (you'll notice on the red wine vinegar, I didn't scrape part of it off, that was because that was where most of the impurities settled)

Back to packing: I decided to clean the patinas that I tested before packing them up. There is an interesting orange/red under the thick green patina layer. I picked it up with some paper towels. I don't know if there is enough color to make a production run, but I just might continue experimenting with this in the months to follow.