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Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Big Bodacious BAKED Brass... Seashell. Yeah, I know.

In my last order from B'Sue Boutiques was this 70mm raw brass Victorian sea shell stamping.  This was one of those times when I started out with a vision, so I couldn't wait for my shell to arrive. Oh man, was I chuckling with glee when I saw it - it is so dimensional, so beautifully made, so exactly what I expected.  So deliciously shiny and golden... so of course I proceeded to mess with it, to darken it up, to give it patina.

I used the oven method - soak in salt-saturated cider vinegar for 1/2 hour, bake at 450 for 1/2 hour, dip again, bake again, wash rinse repeat... until it was all roasty-toasty looking.  It looked wonderful... but I wasn't finished.  It wasn't... quite... there yet.  It wasn't bodacious.

Outside (R, Inside (L) after oven patina, before buffing
After giving it a good hand rubbing I gently color-enhanced it with Gilder's Paste; the inside with German Silver & Silver to emulate the pearly light interior of natural shells; the outside with African Bronze to give it a bit of that 'I've been underwater for ages and am hosting a small colony of algae' look.  The coloring really didn't photograph well; it's quite subtle.

After Coloring: Outside (L) Antique Bronze; Inside (R) German Silver & Silver
It is now a Big Bodacious Brass Sea Shell, and now that I have this stage finished I... "Oh, wait", you say; "did you say 'this stage'?  Isn't it finished?"

Oh me, oh my, wipe a tear of laughter from my eye... I've barely begun.  I'll give you a hint as to what's next: I did a Google search for Treasure Maps.

Must call it tonight; more later.


  1. Aw man! Now I can't wait to see what you did with it! I have one and painted it with pink mixed with the white pearl lumiere paint for the outside. I may do the silver gilders inside like you did.

  2. Thanks for the kind words! I haven't done anything more with it yet; I'm waiting for supplies. I'll definitely show it off when it's finished. :-)