Let's Color! ~
Did you know that you can elevate the possibilities of your TierraCast components by adding color? We've occasionally played with this idea over the last few years and it's high time we share what we've discovered with all of you! Read on to learn about different products and techniques, or skip right down to play the demo video.
Tip: before trying these products all parts should be cleaned with jewelry cleaner, soap and water, or acetone.
Gilders Paste is a colored wax based paste that comes in a wide variety of colors, including metallics. The manufacturer recommends thinning when desired with paint thinner or mineral spirits, and we've also had success with acetone. We've applied it thickly (cotton swabs work great for this), working the color into the recesses of a piece, then immediately wiping it off of the higher points for one effect, and we've thinned it (try a small paint brush) and applied it lightly just on the raised elements for a different effect. Gilders Paste dries to the touch in 5-10 minutes, with 12 hours recommended for fully curing. When completely dry it can be polished to a high luster with a soft cloth. Clean up with soap and water or paint thinner.
Vintaj Patinas are fabulous! This product is made for use on metal surfaces and is similar to working with a liquid acrylic paint. It is quite opaque and dries fast with a satin finish resulting in a lovely enamel effect. For more translucence add their Patina Extender, which is also used as a sealer (although sealing is not required). There is a beautiful array of colors available including metallics. We've had fun layering colors, putting it on over a piece and then once dry using their Reliefing Block to highlight the raised areas, and also lightly brushing it over the high spots. It dries quickly and is an easy soap and water cleanup.
Colorique is an ink and resin based colorant designed by jewelry artist Lisa Marie Jimenez. It feels similar to Vintaj Patinas but is slightly thinner. As with the Patinas it can be blended and layered, used heavily for an opaque enamel effect or applied as a wash. We used both brushes and cotton swabs to apply. The manufacturer does recommend heat drying to set the color, but it is permanent when dry either way. It is easy to use and has a beautiful selection of colors to choose from. Easy cleanup with water. (Note: the company that made Colorique (Clearsnap) shut down, so while you can still find Colorique products supply is limited!)
Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks are just that - an ink. It is a liquid, fast drying, translucent color that feels a bit like painting with water colors. A little goes a long way! If using multiple colors while wet they will blend together quickly. We found that to keep the colors a little more separate give each color a teeny bit of drying time before adding the next. We used cotton swabs and brushes to apply, and had fun sprinkling water onto the painted surfaces of our pieces while still damp to create even more visual interest. If we'd had some salt on hand that would have been fun to try, too! 91% alcohol is best for clean up, and we've also used acetone. Sealing is not required but is never a bad idea as exposure to any alcohol later (spilled drink? lol) could affect the finish! Ranger recommends a water based sealer such as their Gloss Multi-Medium.
Last on our "play list" is Christi Friesen's Swellegant Patinas. Christi has a variety of color products that would be fun to try but we have really only had experience with the Patinas. There are three options - Tiffany Green/Rust, Gold-Green Verdigris, and Darkening. We played with the first two and had best results on our copper components, but with some persistence (multiple layers) discovered that we got nice results on the brass ox finish, too. The Tiffany Green/Rust results in a beautiful turquoise-y patina and the Gold Green Verdigris develops a warm green patina. Try layering the two on the same piece! These solutions actually react with the metal and the patinas take time to develop, so plan for that when playing with these. If after some time a reaction is not interesting enough, add another layer! We mostly used cotton swabs to apply, but if using brushes cleanup is just soap and water.
So much colorful potential! We really enjoyed playing with these different products and hope it inspires you to experiment, too. Watch our demo video for demonstrations of all the fun things! ~
Yours in jewelry making adventure,
Excited to try coloring TierraCast components? The inspirations below are perfect for it!
Click below for all the info and downloadable instruction sheets. Enjoy!
African Spirit Earrings
Dulce Vida Bracelet
Between Earth & Sky Bracelet
Dulce Vida Earrings
Sweet Life Bracelet
Wooded Haven Earrings