Sunday, 17 April 2016

Tutorial Faux Patina Metal

Hey there :)

This time I want to show you that I tried something new.
I'm thinking about getting Swellegant by Christi Friesen because you can achieve really amazing effects with it. But first I wanted to try if the whole patina thing is something I want to invest more time and money in. So I made some experiments with trying to achieve it without real patina.


polymer clay
semi-precious stone
roller or pasta machine
needle and other sculpting tools
sand paper
metal powder
acrylic paint


I will show you two ways of creating this effect. For the first I used scrap clay and paint. It's best to use a clay colour similar to the  colour of your metal, so that no other colour shows through.
Choose a nice stone you want to sculpt your faux metal on.
You first need to cover the back, so the hook we create afterwards has something to hold onto. For that roll out your clay quite thinnly (I used setting 5) and place your stone on top. Cut around the stone with your knife and then press the cut-out piece onto your stone. 

Smooth down the edges with your fingers and push the clay a bit up the stone, so it becomes a nice case.

You can texture the clay with sandpaper or a toothbrush to give it some more interest

Now we create the loop to hang it. You could use only clay for this but I was scared, it would break off, so I always put wire underneath.
So bend a wire loop with your pliers and bend the ends to the sides but with the loop's eye facing the sides so that you can string your pendant later. Now place your loop onto the back of the pendant.

First cover the two parts that stick out, those are only there so that the clay has something to grab onto.
Then cut a strip of clay and place it over your wire, around the loop to cover it.
Take a tool and push the sides of the clay strip inside to cover the whole wire. This might require some practice.

Smooth everything out and texture again.

Now the front. For a very simple leaf design, cut out some leaves either with a cutter (see tutorial) or by hand. You can texture them for example by pressing them into the ridges of a razor handle. I have made a mold from this to use over and over. However, you can also make a design with a needle tool for example.

You can also roll out some thin snakes of clay and place them on your stone as vines. Start at the top of your pendant and position them downwards and around your stone. Don't put on anything that stands by itself because it will just fall off after baking. It's best to connect every element if possible. However, if anything should fall of, you can glue it back on with some glue.

Here I put on the leaves (without vines, I changed my mind later). I positioned them like they were growing out of the bail at the top and smoothed everything together carefully.

I also made a simple cat design on this black and white stone.
For that cover the back and create a bail as before. Then take a little ball of clay and shape into a rounded triangle for the cat's head. Make two really small triangles and smooth them on as ears.

Draw in the mouth and eyes with a needle tool and put on a very small piece of clay as the nose. I also pushed in some nostrils with a needle tool.
For the body, form a long triangle and cut away the top. Check if the proportion is correct.

Take a ball of clay and flatten it. Place this as the upper part of the leg (the cat is sitting). Then make two snakes, one a bit longer than the other. Position the shorter one as the front leg and blend in the top, so you don't see the seam. The other one is for the tail. Attach that and smooth the seam and curl it to your liking.
Now you can put your cat on the stone. I created a ground for her to sit on, so she doesn't fall off after baking. I also made some vines.

The possibilites are endless here. You can create whatever you like.
After your design is finished, you can cover the whole piece in the metal of your choice. I like to use a copper powder for this which I brush on. Then bake it according to the instructions on your clay package or at 100° C for about 20 minutes.
After baking you can paint on your patina with acrylics. Of course, if you don't have any metal powder, you can also paint on metallic acrylics after baking.
Find some pictures of how your chosen metal would oxidise. For copper that's blue and green shades. Mix some acrylic paint in that colour and brush it into all the crevasses and low spots of your design, also at those spots where clay touches stone. Then carfully wipe away the excess paint from the higher parts. You can repeat this process until you're happy with the result.
Then don't forget to put some varnish on to protect your creation.

As I said there's another way to achieve this effect. You can also mix your clay in a patina colour (for copper that's bluish green) and sculpt from this. Then apply your metal powder with your finger, so it only stays on the high spots. Someone on Facebook suggested this technique. However, mine didn't turn out the way I intended it. Maybe you can do better ;)

Here are the results. The first two are done with the first acrylic technique, the third one the other way.

Tutorial Faux Patina Metal

What do you think of these? Do you think they look like oxidised metal? This just reaffirms me in wanting to get Swellegant :)

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