Pardon Our Dust

June 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

First, thank you to everyone for visiting our site! I apologize for the problems we’re still experiencing. It is taking a little longer than we thought. The good news is, when the changes take place, there will be new jewelry displayed as well!

Enjoy the week!


Patinas for Your Jewelry

May 27, 2010 § 3 Comments

Thank you Shaiha, for your question. You got me thinking, and reaching for other resources.  ( . Shaiha asked about a patina for brass. There are a lot of ways to color metals, depending on what color you are looking for. Many of the chemicals are hazardous; in fact, most are required to be shipped ground. I do mention a less toxic means of adding a patina to bronze. There is also a website listed that has a few handfuls of recipes for patinas, and a great book that’s on my wish list.

Patina. A patina is oxidation, a chemical change that occurs when metals come into contact with oxygen. Oxidation often happens naturally, and in those cases we aren’t often glad to see it. Oxidation can also be used as a decorative element in art and jewelry.

There are three forms of oxidation: hot, cold, buried. I have seen just hot and cold listed, with ‘buried’ listed under cold applications.

Cold patinas include patinas resulting from burial of the object, cold chemical patinas, and patinas created with fumes. These don’t need heat to produce change, but heat will destroy them.

example: for a vivid teal green:

  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia or uric acid (if desired)
  • sawdust, cat litter (used cat litter is  better)
  • Moisten sawdust or litter with vinegar (well moistened). Add ammonia or uric acid if you wish. Put the mixture in a bag with the bronze piece. Check on the piece after several days. The teal green happens with just vinegar. Bluer colors emerge if you add the ammonia.

The above method is one of the least toxic. It takes the longest, and you have very little control over the process.

Other cold processes, which happen at approximately room temperature, include gun blueing and liver of sulphur. These processes do happen more quickly if the piece you are oxidizing is hot. The chemicals involved are either stronger or more concentrated, to be able to work without heat.

Hot oxidation isn’t always considered a chemical reaction. Heat means the oxidation happens more quickly. It also means that heat is likely to darken it. The amount of heat, the chemicals involved, and method of application all affect how the oxidation appears. These involve the least time, are the most controlled, and don’t require quite as strong or harsh chemicals. That said, you need to know that if you are using heat, it is that much more dangerous.

Once the piece reaches the desired color, the oxidation needs to be protected. If not protected with some sort of coating, the piece may continue to discolor, or it may be easily removed. There are a number of things you can use as coatings, including renaissance wax.

There are great books on the subject. Here is one to look into:

The Coloring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals, by Richard Hughes, Michael Rowe

An interesting site and a variety of recipes that I haven’t checked out. Feel free to check it out.


**Standard disclaimer: I don’t recommend using any chemicals without proper training, equipment and experience. Any and all of these examples should be done with proper equipment, including (as examples) a fan hood that is directly above your work; a mask (respirator version); whatever else your instructors, lab assistants, etc. recommend.

New look, new content, and a question

May 23, 2010 § 2 Comments

I’d like to start out in a new direction. I’m looking for input, either as comments or emails, for all of you. What would you like to see here. Do you have questions that need answering? Are there things you want to know more about? We’d like to offer what you’re looking for.

To kick off our new content, we’re having a giveaway. Everyone who contributes to our list of blog topics will be entered to win a pair of earrings. This week I’ll post an picture of the earrings. The earrings are sterling silver, with Swarovski crystal bicone beads. In addition to the picture of earrings, I’ll also share the color choice the winner of the drawing can choose from.

A word about the suggestions: they need to be relevent to jewelry and the jewelry business, appropriate content for family viewing, and only one entry per week. The drawing will be held near the end of June (date to be announced).

I look forward to hearing from you!


Name Change and More

May 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

School’s out! Now that the semester is over, I’m committing more hours to “the rest of our business”, which translates to working at more than making jewelry. Repairs are one obvious change, spending more time on three-day turn-around. I’ll also be spending more time blogging. (yes, our blog has been quite neglected.)

Time and attention aren’t the only changes you’ll find here. The name will change, as will the look, and we’re excited to see where our blog will be going.

So come back soon and see what we have in store…I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


New Look at Of the Earth

February 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Our website is updated! We’re very excited about the new look, and so are our customers.

We’ve discovered a few problems with the site, and we’re working on them right now. We aren’t sure how long we’ll be in process again, correcting the updates, but I’m hoping this week they’ll all be taken care of.

Here’s looking forward to a great week!

Energy Efficiency

October 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

We’re in the process of making our living and working space as energy efficient and ‘green’ as possible. It’s been a process, and will remain so as we move and develop our new work and living environment.

The process has been more pleasant than I had imagined. The old fluorescent bulbs, used in schools and other institutions, have always given me migraines. Even the first of the compact fluorescent bulbs triggered migraines, and I was loathe to try them for obvious reasons. But when I read about the new warm light soft white bulbs, I was excited. They don’t trigger headaches at all, and will be replacing the old bulbs this week.

And though we’ve been busy, I have a few designs I’ll be working on. I look forward to sharing some them with you.

Our Apologies

April 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

Those of us at Of the Earth Artisans have had our hands quite full, and our blog has been suffering for it. Our apologies for not being the reliable go-to people our customers are accustomed to dealing with.

We will be making a concerted effort to maintain and update our blog and our website as we move our business forward.

Look forward to some changes in format and a few surprises as well!


the artisans, artists and staff