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.

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