August 8, 2008

Some methods for creating decorative textures with examples from Etsy:

Roll Printing: A rolling mill is used to press a pattern into sheet metal. You can use a paper stencil to impress a shape or pretty much any flat textured materials (fabric, leaves, paper, wire etc.) to create an interesting pattern.

(From LaPetiteFleur at Etsy)

Hammer Marks: Hammer blows can be used to create an interesting surface. Different types of hammer will give different effects.

(from jenkahn at Etsy)

Stamping: Stamps can be used to create all sorts of patterns and also to imprint letters. Stamps are simple devices (a steel rod with the desired shape for imprinting at one end) and can be purchased or home made.

(from mncmoon at Etsy)

Reticulation: this involves heating metal and taking advantage of the different cooling rates of an alloy’s component substances to create a lumpy, shiny, moonscapey texture. Silver with a high copper content is a good alloy to work with. The downside to reticulated metal is that it is quite brittle.

(from DeborahSanderson at Etsy)

Sand blasting: Jewellery may be placed in a sand blasting unit to achieve a matte finish. Micro beads are blasted against the metal surface creating small pits.

(from AngieMeyersDesigns at Etsy)

Etching: Etching uses mordants and resists to corrode a pattern or picture into metal.
A mordant is a chemical that will corrode metal. A resist is a substance (e.g., stop out, contact) that resists (duh!) the corrosive action of a mordant.

(from zbella at Etsy)

More to come on etching…


with examples from Etsy

  • Heating copper unevenly with a torch can create interesting patterns of oxidisation (marbled orange, black, brown).
    • Don’t pickle!
    • The surface can be protected, for example, with a rouge polish.

(from thenoisyplume at Etsy)

  • Leaf, powders, and foils can be applied to create a more precious and/or more colourful appearance.
    • Apply Japanese gold size to the desired area and allow it to dry before applying the leaf or powder.
    • To apply leaf rub a sable brush against your cheek to generate static electricity and use the brush to break and lift pieces of leaf.
    • This finish is quite delicate and works best when inset, for example, in a domed or textured surface.

(from willaburke at Etsy)

  • Enamelling is a great way to apply vivid colours to metal. Enamels may be translucent or opaque and can be used in conjunction with foils, cloisonné wire etc.

(from Studio94 at Etsy)

  • A copper plating may be obtained by placing metal in a pickle that has had copper in it.
  • You can use a variety of store bought (such as antiquing solutions) or hand mixed chemicals to create various patinas on metals. Liver of Sulphur (Potassium Sulfide) can be used to darken metal and an ammonium chloride solution can be used to create a characteristic green patina on copper. A number of patina recipes can be found in ‘The Complete Metalsmith’.

(from AntiGenre at Etsy)

…Steel wool (gives a bright matte finish)
Matting mop
Frosting mop
Sand blaster
Bead blaster
Abrasive blocks such as Garryflex abrasive cleaner
Various mops, brushes and papers

It tends to be best to get the piece completed and polished before the matte finish is applied.

Note that matte finishes get dirty quickly (especially frosting). They can also wear off with repeated rubbing (e.g., rings will eventually become shiny).

(Untitled by Dusanka Vujovic – seen in International Art Treasures Web Magazine)