Tutorials and Information for using Patina and Colours with Metal Clay

This page has links to all kinds of resources for working with patina and colour. You’ll find information, tutorials and project guides about adding patina and colour to metal clay. Content checked June 2018.

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Contrast and Colour on Metal Clay

General article about adding a range of colouring techniques to silver clay.

The Ultimate Colour Combinations Cheat Sheet

Does what it says on the tin!

General Patina Resources

Brynmorgen Press

Download PDF’s of different sorts of patina methods. This comprehensive list of resources includes patina’s achieved by burying your pieces, fuming, liver of sulphur, Japanese patinas and more. Check it out!

Fire Mountain Gems – using Liver of Sulphur

Short tutorial on using Liver of Sulphur to add colourful patina to your metal clay projects. Includes useful safety and usage tips.

Oxidizing with Perma Blue on Copper

Perma Blue is found in the US where ever gun supplies are sold, so check all the sports stores. The chemical name – Selenium Dioxide.

The Science Company

Patina formulas for brass, bronze and copper.

Sealent Testing on Metal

This great blog post by Laura Bracken shows the results of testing a number of different sealents for colouring on metal. Very useful for anyone working with colour or patina.

Tricks for Sealing Your Metal Work – Wanaree Tanner

Great article showing how to seal patina or preserve the surface color of metal without losing the qualities of the color.

Ceramic Transfers

This process was pioneered by Helga Van Leipsig. Here you’ll find a useful booklet. Learn high-temperature application of ceramic transfers to kiln-fired metal clay. This booklet will explain when to use this technique, which tools to use, and the application and firing process.

Here is Helga’s presentation from the PMC Conference in July 2008.

Cold Inlay Powder

Hadar Jacobson Cold Inlay Powder

Each cold inlay powder is a mix of pure metal powders. Hadar’s Cold Inlay Powders are currently available in silver, gold, and black colors. The technique is called “cold inlay” because no firing is involved. Only the piece to be inlaid is fired. The inlay is done by filling the indentations of the fired piece with the inlay powder and adding a drop of CA (cyanoacrylate) glue.

Once sanded, the inlaid powder looks just like fully sintered metal.

For a demonstration of the process, please download the Instruction Manual for Hadar’s Cold Inlay Powders.

Guilders Paste

Art Beads – How to use Gilders Paste

Good step by step guide with pictures of how to use Gilders Paste.

 

Image Transfer

Sherri Haab’s image transfer process allows you to add photographic images to metal clay. The instructions for this can be downloaded here.

You can add color to metal clay using Sherri Haab’s ITS. Download a PDF of the instructions here.

Image transferEasy Image Transfer

This useful, well illustrated article explains how to transfer images onto resin clay.

Liver of Sulfur

Holly Gage – Liver of Sulfur

Download this tutorial from Holly Gage.

Using Liver of Sulfur

Useful tutorial from Art Clay World

Liver of Sulfur Tips and Tricks

This handout was written by Katie Baum for her workshop at the 2008 Art Clay UK Conference. Very useful tips and tricks guide.

Metal Clay Connections – Textures and Patina

January 2007 newsletter focusing on texture and patina.

Resin

 

Resin bag charmBag Charm Tutorial – Resin8

In this intermediate level project learn an updated cloisonné method using resin instead of enamel.

 

 

 

 

Resin treatmentsDifferent Resin Treatments

Resin is an incredibly versatile material. lLarn how to add different and unusual colours, materials and textures to it in silver plated pendants. By Clare John.

 

 

 

 

Embedding pictures in resinEmbedding a Picture – Resin8

In this project learn how to embed a picture or photo into your resin jewellery.

 

Inca pendantInca Pendant – Resin8

In this intermediate level project learn how to bond wire onto a pendant mount using epoxy glue.

 

 

plique a jour braceletPlique a Jour Bracelet – Resin8

In this advanced level project learn how to make an open backed (plique-a-jour) resin drop bracelet.

 

 

resin heart charmSherri Haab – Resin Heart Charm Tutorial

Lovely tutorial showing you how to make a resin charm with an embedded design.

sunset pendantSunset Pendant – Resin8

In this advanced level project learn how to make a bright, summery pendant using the champleve technique.

tropical pendantTropical Pendant – Resin8

In this advanced level project learn how to make a double sided resin pendant.

 

 

Laughing Girl Arts – UV Resin Tips and Hints

The following tips and hints were posted on the Yahoo! Metal Clay Group by Linda Gaughran.

Heat the jar of resin before use. I find it too thick to flow easily right out of the jar but when I heat it it liquifies and flows easier. I put the open jar on my mug warmer with the lid sitting lightly on top to block light and stir it every 30-60 seconds until it feels
loose. When it gets where I want it, somewhere between “doesn’t flow” and “runs off the toothpick before I can get it to the piece”, I turn the mug warmer off and let the jar sit there as I work. Reheat as needed.

How to apply resin

I use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to pick up a blob of resin from the jar and then drop onto my piece. The blob stays attached to my skewer until I touch it down on the piece. You may need to coax the resin to the edges of your piece with your toothpick. Be sure to wipe up any threads or spills as they will harden on the piece too.

Curing tips

Remember light cures it so don’t leave the lid off the jar very long if you’re working in bright light.

I’m afraid of undercured resin so I usually give it two rounds of time under my auto-shutoff manicure lamp just to be sure. Probably not necessary but it eases my mind. That works fine for transparent colors too. I haven’t done opaques.

I put the bottom of a cardboard shoebox upside down over the manicure light so that the UV light doesn’t leak out. And I try not to look at it when it’s on. Bad for your eyes.

After curing

Don’t let the sticky residue on the top of the cured resin throw you. It comes off perfectly with just a swipe of the UV Resin cleaner. Conversely, if you’re doing multiple layers you don’t need to clean off the sticky residue between layers. It is really sticky though so don’t get dust in it between layers.

UV Gel Resin

UV Gel Resin instruction sheet

Another very useful factsheet from Art Clay World

Louise Duhamel Presentation

This fabulous presentation includes details on how to use Prismacolor pencils on metal clay. It also includes how to use UV resin and Pebeo Vitreaglass paints.

Vitrea 160 paint instruction sheet

Factsheet from Art Clay World

Keum Boo

Charles Lewton- Brain – Keum Boo

Interesting article about the origins of Keum Boo on Ganoksin. This article also talks about the mechanism by which Keum-boo works. It’s a theoretical article. It will be useful for anyone who wants to know more background on this ancient method of adding gold to silver.

Keum Boo or Kum Boo

Useful introduction to adding gold foil to silver using the Keum Boo or Kum Boo process. This ancient Korean technique has been pioneered by Celie Fago. This downloadable tutorial is from PMC Connection.

Metal Clay Connections – Keum Boo and Gold

April 2007 newsletter focusing on Keum Boo and gold.

swirling leaf necklaceSwirling Leaf Necklace by Noel Yovovich

Inspired by ancient “torques” – rigid collars that open in the front. This delicate, contemporary necklace has come a long way from its heavy, classical roots. Metal clay leaves attached to sterling silver and then decorated with Keum Boo. Published on Art Jewelry Magazine’s website.

Adding Gold, Aura 22, Gold Paste, AGS

Accent Gold for Silver, AGS Instructions

Manufacturer’s downloadable instructions from the Metalclay website on how to add AGS to your silver clay work. Use in conjunction with Petra’s additional instructions below.

Accent Gold for Silver v2 Instructions from Jewelry Material Innovations Inc

These downloadable instructions relate to the updated version of AGS released in 2009. This pdf also includes depletion gilding instructions to use AGS with sterling or Argentium silver.

Petra’s additional instructions for using AGS

Petra from Metalclay has added some useful information to the manufacturer’s instructions from her own experience of using AGS. Download and use with manufacturer’s instruction sheet above.

keum boo earringsFine Silver and 24K Gold Keum-Boo Earrings

Learn how to add layers,  embed sterling silver wire, and apply gold leaf Keum Boo to  fine silver earrings. Useful tutorial from Janet Alexander.

 

 

Enamelling

blue window cufflinksBlue Window Cufflinks – Rosa Martha Celorio

This great intermediate metal clay tutorial is free to view on the Cre8tive Fire website. Try your hand at enameling with these simple yet elegant enameled cufflinks.

dichroic enamelDichroic Enamels – How to Add a Dichroic Effect to Your Enamels

Dichroic glass is simply beautiful, maybe you know it as “dichro” or “dicro”. The term refers to multiple ultra-thin microlayers of metal oxides which are evaporated onto the surface of glass in a vacuum chamber. These oxides change the way that light is transmitted and reflected. This means that as you turn the glass, the color changes. A dichroic coating appears to have additional colors when viewed from different angles.

enameled copper necklaceEnamel necklace

Enamel on copper domes.

Ganoksin – Enamelling on Metal Clay

Enameling on fine silver metal clay, excerpts from the book: Enameling with Professionals by Lilyan Bachrach.

How to Enamel

Basic enameling process on copper.

Indie Fixx – How to apply images to enameled pendants

Great tutorial with pictures showing the process of adding designs to enameled pendants. Very thorough tutorial and easy to follow.

Introduction to Enameling

It may be a cliché, but enameling is one of those techniques that takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master. If you’ve ever wanted to try enameling, don’t be intimidated, it’s very easy to get started. 

Karen L Cohen – What is Enamelling?

Useful explanation of enamelling terms from Karen L Cohen

rainbow earringsMed’a Creations – Wavy rainbow earrings

Well explained project to make metal clay earrings coloured with Thompson enamels. This tutorial uses the technique of mixing the enamels with the metal clay to create coloured clay. Useful tips are given for what colours to use. 

 

Torch Enameling

Article about basic enameling using a torch. Lots of useful information.

Torch Fire Enamel on Copper

So you’d like to try your hand at enameling but don’t have a kiln? Let’s start torch enameling! Easy to setup, fairly inexpensive and so much fun!

Torch Fired Enamel on Fine Silver

This tutorial is aimed at metal clay and enameling artisans. It outlines the process for enameling on hollow forms. It assumes that you know the basics of enameling, such as preparing enamels, safety measures etc.

Metal Clay Connections – Enamelling

October 2006 newsletter focusing on enamelling.

Wanaree Tanner – Enameling on Metal Clay using Scratch-Foam® texture

Great tutorial from Wanaree showing you how to make and then enamel a silver metal clay panel.

Prismacolor Pencils

coloured pencil on copperDebra Weld – Bringing out the Colorful Side of Copper

This page from the Copper.org website has several articles. One of these is a great outline of how Debra Weld creates copper panels using Prismacolor pencils. These are then attached to metal clay for the finished article.

Louise Duhamel Presentation

This fabulous presentation includes details on how to use Prismacolor pencils on metal clay. It also includes how to use UV resin and Pebeo Vitreaglass paints.

Alcohol Ink

Using alcohol ink with metal clay – Janet Alexander

This great tutorial clearly explains how to use alcohol ink to add colour to metal clay.

Polymer Clay

inlaying polymerInlaying Polymer Clay

Interesting article about inlaying polymer clay designs into fired metal clay jewellery from Lorrene Baum-Davis.

LeavesMetallic Leaf Tutorial – Lisa Pavelka

This downloadable tutorial shows you how to make a frame using polymer clay and Lisa Pavelka’s “Pavelka Peel” technique. This can be adapted for use with metal clay as an inlay.

polymer heartsScrap Polymer Clay Ideas

This blog post is based on sound design principles and uses scrap clay to produce colourful hearts. The technique could easily be applied to polymer for inlay into fired metal clay pieces.

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