What have I been doing for the past month? Well, mostly cleaning porcelain and brass and several jewelry commissions. I do love custom work. I was so caught up, that I didn’t realize so much time had passed until I got a request to update my blog. Sorry! However, it is nice to know someone is reading it so thank you.
I really wanted to post on the brass cleaning recipe I found; unfortunately, I forgot to take picture for before and after. Since I’m pleased with the results, I will tell you about it. I used a recipe by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., out of the About.com Guide. When would you want to use this recipe? Well, it’s one thing when you purposely alter brass so you have a nice even patina; it’s quite another when you have corrosive, rough, “growths” on certain parts of your brass and not on others. What you need to know about what this recipe will and will not accomplish:
1) This recipe will allow you to scrub off three dimensional, discolored bits from your brass.
2) This recipe will not change the color of your brass. It will minimize dark spots by making them lighter, but it will not actually change the color. For instance if you have dark spots it will make them lighter brown but if your brass has a reddish, pinotage type coloration, it will not make it yellow again.
As for the porcelain, I bought some lovely antique German dolls and parts from Harry Wood’s shop, Oscarcrow on etsy. Not only does he sell the original parts, but also some wonderful handmade reproductions along with his own jewelry line. He also has a very interesting blog that gives tutorials about his jewelry making techniques. I have never met him, we are not friends and I am not getting paid to tell you that (or about anyone or anything else on this blog).
The pieces came au natural so that you could envision them in situ after being buried in a dump near a former factory site. The body parts were full of dirt and I wanted to clean them, maybe make them less dingy, without taking away all signs of their age.
My husband would know all about cleaning porcelain being an a typical Englishman with a tea addiction. He suggested I clean them with boiling water and salt. This brighten up the dolls making them much whiter so I think if I paint them or use Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks the color will really pop. As you can see below, the age still shows:
I do have several pieces of jewelry to make for a client but as it’s Friday, I’m off to go to a Chinese tea ceremony with my friend. Maybe I’ll take pictures of that if it would be of interest to anyone?