Making, Metalsmithing

Color on Metal #3 – Part 1

I was back in my Color on Metal class at Lillstreet today. The light wasn’t great so the photos don’t do the colors justice. Our instructor demonstrated using colored pencils with liver of sulfur or turpentine wash, guilders paste, and alcohol inks. She showed us some samples using acrylic paints too.

This first grouping of photos were done with colored pencils. Only the Prismacolor brand works.

Colored pencil samples are on the far right

The liver of sulphur helps to blend the colors. Turpentine has a similar effect, but without creating the dark background.

Guilders’ Paste leaves a beautiful, saturated finish on the metal. It has a pastel-like quality that is appealing.

These two rows of samples
were all done with Guilders’ Paste
Close up on samples
Teacher sample made in class

Although I like the paste, it is not cheap – $12-17 a container. And the colors are fairly limited. Still, I may explore this further.

The final demo today was using alcohol inks. I brought some in from home, because I had bought some a few years ago thinking I might use them to make a Christmas card. I really love when a former hobby inspires again, and I get to use all my fun supplies in new ways!

I think this technique was my favorite of everything we tried today, though it is not terribly predictable. The colors can be beautifully saturated. But unlike the powder coating, the alcohol inks have a luminosity that seems more like enamel.

I spent most of my studio time today experimenting with this technique. I will show you my practice pieces in my next post!

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