Simply Beads Newsletter
Alcohol Inks, Patina Inks and Liver of Sulfur
Alcohol and opaque inks and certain chemicals, like liver of sulfur, can be applied to beads, pendants and findings to create one-of-a-kind patinas. You can add different layers and sand parts of layers away to create very unique pieces.
Be sure to use caution when handling these products, including wearing gloves, eye protection and having proper ventilation in the area where you are working, and read the instructions beforehand to get the best results.
Alcohol inks are acid-free, fast drying and transparent. You can use them on glossy paper, metal, shrink plastic, glass and other slick surfaces. Brands such as Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks by Ranger are available in 18 exciting three-color palettes, as well as 54 individual bottles and four Metallic Mixatives. Being able to use these inks on a variety of surfaces gives you plenty of options. You can use them in most any craft project from paper crafts to jewelry. Most colors are widely available in general craft stores. If the colors you are looking for aren't in the jewelry and bead department, be sure to check the paper-crafts department since alcohol inks can be used in both crafts.
Alcohol inks are extremely easy to use and come in so many colors that the options are endless. Simply shake the ink bottle to make sure the ink is mixed well and then apply to the piece. You can use applicators if you are trying to concentrate the ink in one area or are trying to get a specific design on your finished piece.
Vintaj Patina is a brand of opaque inks that are made specifically for metals. The inks are fast drying and have a satin finish. They also contain no acid and are UV safe. Vintaj Patinas by Ranger come in seven blendable three-color palettes and four metallics.
Vintaj Patina inks are different from alcohol inks in the fact that they are more like paint. They are opaque, whereas alcohol inks are translucent. They are formulated to be used on metals only. To get the best effect with the product, it is desirable to use metal pieces with different levels of relief so that the layers of ink can be sanded away to create highlights. To sand the layers, a Vintaj Reliefing Block works best. You can click here to purchase the Reliefing Block. You can also click here to see a video on how to use the Reliefing Block.
Liver of Sulfur
In general, a patina may be produced by chemical agents that give metal an aged look. One of the most common chemicals for achieving a patina on metal is liver of sulfur. Liver of sulfur comes in two forms: rock and gel. Most general craft stores do not carry liver of sulfur; you will need to get it from specialty stores or online. Make sure to use this chemical in a well-ventilated area as it has a very strong odor. You will also need protective wear such as gloves and eye protection.
Simply add rock liver of sulfur to water and place the metal pieces in the solution until you get the desired level of patina. Sterling silver will turn black, and copper will turn dark brown. The longer you leave the metal in the chemical solution the darker it will become.
Sealer should be used to keep the patinas from rubbing off onto clothing or from general wear. You can use Glaze by Vintaj. It's a metal sealer and patina extender. You can also use spray sealants such as a clear acrylic sealer by Mod Podge or any other brand. Both are found at general craft stores.