Heat Colouring Copper Experiments


After last week’s workshop with patinas I decided to experiment a little more with the Jel Flux technique, it is so much fun to do and I love the results!

Heat patina on copper

1″ drawing – Blown up a bit – Patina & bent into shape

First I used it on a piece that had been sitting on my bench for a while. This was the enlarged version of one of my little squares, these are the little design drawings I like to do at times to take a ‘snapshot’ of where I am at the time.

Using a stamp to apply the Jel flux

Using a stamp to apply the Jel flux

The trick is in the torch firing, you need to get the copper red hot, then wait a little bit before quenching in water. As soon as you take it out of the water the colour is there! Magic!

Left: Toaster Oven 'baked' Right: Torch fired

Applying the heat can also be done in a toaster oven, set to 180 C ( 350 F) the piece on the left was cooked for 30 minutes. You’ll need to time this visually as the weight and size of the copper will play a part in the time required. This is a very strong colour for copper, no sealing wax required and the red stays vibrant for years. The oven baked copper stays shiny, while the torch and subsequent quenching gives a nice matte finish that would contrast nicely with shiny silver elements. Polishing the torch fired piece works well too, the colour is inside the metal and doesn’t polish off. I really did go nuts for a day or so, I’ll post more to my Facebook page: GC Jewellery Studio in the next few days, come and have a look and Like the page while you’re at it:)  I hope you’ll try this technique, I’m sure you’ll love the variety of colours you can get, especially with the oven bake method, enjoy!  


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