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heat coloring (was Temper colors) on Copper

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Open flame is fine and all and you can get very beatiful colors, but I have a couple questions: I know that when people temper knives they often use a kitchen oven, there the metal turns different colors as the rest rises, yet, because of the controlled heat, it is a consistent color throughout the peice, would I be safe to assume this is the same for copper? What are all the colors copper can turn to because of heat? 

I am trying to make a chart for copper coloring via controlled heat and time, just like those made for tempering steel so any info would be awsome!

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Great thread! I'e been torching copper, brass, bronze, and different types of steel including stainless for a long time. I've found the best product to finish your piece with is Sculpt Nouveau Color Loc. It is specifically designed to enhance the colors made through torching and actually makes the piece more vibrant. Use this as a base coat on bare metal. Works fantastic.

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Hello all. Just joined the group in New Zealand. Totally new to all of this.. using sheet copper to experiment with colours. Anyone tried Everbright for sealing? 
 

Cheers

Kearvy

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Aloha Everyone!  I just joined the group from Hawaii. I've been making jewelry forever, and have been an admirer of torch painted copper for a very long time.  Last week I thought, what the heck, let me torch my copper jewelry! So I bought a butane torch, watched a couple of YouTube videos and got to work.  My copper bracelet simply turned black.  But I didn't give up, I tried it again and this time the bracelet turned a deep, muddy, rusty red color. Yuck.  Maybe I overheated it. I am going to keep playing with it though... reading this entire thread is pointing me in the right direction.  Thanks for keeping this going!

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Welcome aboard Mermaid, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you'll discover how many members live in the Islands. Telling us in one thread won't stick in anybody's memory longer than it takes to open a different post. 

Yeah, you're overheating it. For jewelry you'll want a needle torch or you'll heat the whole piece and not get the variegated colors. However experiment with the Bernzomatic anyway but on larger stock, say 6" squares of sheet. Heat SLOWLY and with a large area torch like a Bernzomatic use a soft flame and something to shield portions of the sheet. A brushing motion gives an effect, a FAST hot spot another effect. You can almost draw pictures with a needle flame

Another method on small pieces is to use an electric soldering iron or gun. The tip needs to be sanded clean, any residual solder will end up on the jewelry. An iron gives more choices, you can file a sharp point and literally draw, use an edge for radiated colors from a sharp line, or a flat face for large areas. 

You have to play with it and there'll be plenty of EWWWW! results till you get the hang of it.

And pictures, if you don't post pictures we won't believe . . . 

How about starting off with some pics of your work now? We LOVE pics you know. :wub:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Oh Thanks Frosty!  I think one of my problems is I'm trying to heat-color 14g and 16g dead soft Copper wire which I have hammered for texture.  I'm a wire jewelry artist.  But I see that in ALL the videos and articles that copper 'sheet' is being used, allowing much more surface area to work with.  I will try again tomorrow and not have the flame SO CLOSE to the copper and will attach pictures!  Aloha!

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I watched a good YouTube video from George Goehl last night which gave me a better feel to more of a touch_&_go technique with my Butane torch, I was so excited to try it this morning.  On my first 2 failed attempts earlier this week, it was in the middle of the afternoon, in my kitchen, indoor temperature was probably 80 degrees, with all the ceiling fans running, I torched holding my pieces in the air with insulated pliers.  Watching other videos, sometimes it was mentioned how temperature, humidity, oxygen, etc. can all be factors in the outcome.  So this morning, it was cool outside with no wind, around 72 degrees and I thought I'd try it again. I took some '0000' steel wool to both pieces and started over, plus I had purchased a soldering board yesterday, and I turned the heat control down to it's lowest setting (where previously I had used it on it's highest setting).  I am very pleased with the results!  Here's a picture.  I can see I still have a lot to learn, but am excited to have achieved some vibrant colors by using more of a tapping motion, let the piece cool a moment, then tap again.  Ultimately, (maybe even today) I will order a few copper sheets, and give it another go. Any suggestions on what gauge thickness for earrings/jewelry making?

*I do have a question though, is there a setting I can enable which will send me an email notification each time this thread is updated?  

Aloha for now!

FirePaintingCopper.jpg

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