verdigris fail

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I was experimenting with applying a verdigris finish to a copper seahorse. Well, it wasn’t a big success. In fact, it didn’t work at all.

Things looked promising to start with – I covered the seahorse with a mixture of vinegar and salt as instructed, and left it for a couple of days. A very convincing verdigris did indeed develop:

verdigris fail1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, when I rinsed the seahorse, the greeny-blue coating all rinsed off too. Twice. Not sure what, if anything, I was doing wrong, but I decided to cut my losses at that point.

All is not lost, however. I changed tack and gave the seahorse a hammered finish, then oxidised it with a blow torch until the surface blackened. I then rubbed it gently with very fine sandpaper, so that the oxidisation remained in the indentations, but the shiny surface of the copper was exposed on the raised areas:

verdigris fail2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m actually pretty pleased with how it’s turned out. Seahorses are slightly rough and scaly in appearance, so the dappled finish I ended up with really suits the design. It’s been sealed with jewellery wax, which gives a soft sheen to the surface. I’ve added a little blue glass bead to make up for the lack of verdigris, and they both hang from a copper spiral.

So, he may not be a verdigris seahorse, but he is a very pretty one, and he’ll be appearing in my Etsy shop very soon.


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