Aged vintage brass seagull with vintage topaz faceted glass bead and vintage copper chain
I aged these vintage copper and brass stampings by spraying them with salty water and fuming them with clear ammonia in an air-tight container. Ammonia alone gives a green patina but the added salt makes it blue.
*Important*: The salt seems to weaken the metal so it can be potentially corrosive on thinner or fragile pieces - I lost a few stampings this way.
The pieces have to be SOLID brass or copper. Don't use plated steel or even steel objects during the fuming. They will just turn black and potentially copper plate your stampings. (yeah I did that:)
Aged vintage copper filigree leaf necklace
My setup was basically ammonia in a small plastic dish with a plastic mesh on top with my pieces laying flat, placed in a larger plastic airtight container. It took about 48 hours and I sprayed the salt 2 or 3 times.
Aged brass filigree with vintage gray glass jewel and vintage chains
I rinsed them in water and let them air dry for a day before sealing them.
this little guy has not been 'waxed'
To seal in the color I basically just used wax from a white tea light candle. I scratched off some wax from the candle and pressed it on the metal using the warmth of my skin to spread the wax. I removed the excess wax with a pointed object like a head pin and continued rubbing and scratching until I had just enough wax to give it a subtle shine. I find this looks better than using a liquid wax or a hard sealer which can chip over time.
These are what the stampings looked like before the ammonia fuming:
For more details (link goes to my blog post): http://urbannaturalhistory.blogspot.com/2010/03/eye-candy-of-day-chemistry.html