Saturday, August 13, 2011

Unique Stained Glass

Using patina to create unique stained glass projects is an easy economical way to make your works stand out from the crowd. For instance, by using a different patina on sun catchers, you can give each of your creations a unique appearance that is impossible to precisely duplicate. A patina is the oxidation that naturally occurs with time on the surface of solder joints or the lead came joints that hold your stained glass projects together.heron-stained-glass-lit-screen-02Patina is the thin film encrustation that is the natural product of oxidation which occurs on the surface of almost every metal. In nature, patina requires a long period of time to form however, they can be artificially produced by applying a variety of substances to the surface of different types of metals to achieve a different look. Over time when weathered by natural exposure to the elements, different metals will take on different color tones. A prime example of naturally occurring patina are the ancient Roman coins that are frequently found by European farmers as they cultivate their fields.

Depending on the composition of the metal that the coin is made of, the patina can be black, brown, dark silver, green, or various shades of all of these colors. Ancient bronze coins are often dug up as a shade of green.
stained-glass-window-roundThe thin green film of incrustation is formed by the oxidation on the bronze as it chemically reacts with the minerals in the ground and moisture content of the soil. The patina that naturally occurs on bronze is often green in color. Other metals will gradually acquire similar encrustations but in different color variations. The color variance depends on the composition of the metal, the chemical composition of the soil that the coin was buried in, the compactness of the soil and the amount of moisture the metal is exposed to over time.

The one exception is solid gold, which does not naturally oxidize. Patina is esteemed by stained glass artisans and provide and additional ornamental value to their projects. They are also highly regarded by coin collectors and often dramatically increase the value of a coin. This is especially important to remember when using patina to create unique stained glass projects.

Patina on sun catchers are usually colored natural gray, black, brown, bronze or bright brass. You don't have to wait 2000 years for a beautiful patina to appear on the solder joints of your stained glass project. Today patina can be purchased in either a gel or liquid form to create a variety of color shades.

The procedure for properly applying patina to the joints of your stained glass project is easy. First, thoroughly clean the solder joints or lead came on your completed project with fine 000 steel wool. The lead should be completely free from any cutting oil and should appear very shiny.

Next, apply the gel or liquid patina to the joints with a natural sponge or a small hair brush. Allow the patina to age on the joints until you get the color shade you desire. When you are satisfied with the color, thoroughly wash off the excess patina with a mild soap and water mixture. When your glass project has thoroughly dried, you can set the color of the patina and protect it by rubbing a light coat of bees wax over the surface of the joints. This prevents any additional oxidation and will stop any unwanted color changes.

Using patina to create unique stained glass projects is a good idea if you are making several sun catchers, wall hangings, wind chimes, or Tiffany type lamp shades from the same pattern. With only a little bit of time and effort you can totally change the look of identical projects and transform each one into a unique creation just by changing the color of the patina. Tiffany style lamp shades are frequently made from identical patterns and sold with a dark brown patina.

The whole look and feel of the lamp shade can be dramatically altered by simply changing to a shiny brass, a dull black or a light bronze patina. Even if your glass projects are identical and made from the same type of glass, using patina to create unique stained glass projects will allow you to mass produce a pattern and still provide your clients with a unique finished product.

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