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I have spent some time this week making samples of various patinas on copper.  Above you see three samples of the same patina which goes by the Japanese name of Su-tanpan.  This is a traditional and ancient way to color the surface of copper and its alloys and is often used as a base for other coloration.  In the picture, you will notice there is quite a variation of color.  The left hand square has been lacquered so that I could see the difference it made to the color.  Below are some samples of two different patinas layered over the above.  The greenish one goes by the Japanese name of Enka, the blue one by the name Ryusan-do.  I found the recipes for all three patina solutions in a lovely book entitled Japanese Patinas by Eitoku Sugimori. I am including two versions of the Enka patina sample because they came out very differently.  You can see that the square with less green also has a very intensely red area that did not seem to take the green color at all.

The next step for me is to destructively test areas on these squares to see what does and does not remove the colors, what they look like with lacquer or wax over them and how they change over time.  I am also planning to prepare another set of squares using a second base patina and at least one more layered patina.  I will be making a post soon about other experiments I have been doing involving etching designs on copper.  All of this is going to come together in some pieces with etched designs that have some layered patinas!  Needless to say, I am quite excited about trying new techniques.


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